Madeleine Albright: Attacks on Rice Were 'Outrageous,’ 'False’

Friday, 14 Dec 2012 10:22 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright says she is outraged by the attacks on Susan Rice that spurred the embattled U.N. ambassador to bow out of the running to become the next Secretary of State.

“She’s wonderful. She doesn’t deserve, as a human being, she doesn’t deserve the attacks upon [her] that were false,’’ Albright, who was Rice’s mentor and former State Department boss, told Charlie Rose on “CBS This Morning.”

“And they were really outrageous.’’

Albright — Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton — said that  Rice “would have been great in the job,’’ but after she emerged as President Barack Obama’s choice to replace Hillary Clinton, “I think there was just a kind of avalanche.

“I find it really sad. I love Washington, and I just don’t like what has happened at this point. It’s just very unpleasant and sad and something that a very, very good public servant doesn’t deserve or nobody deserves, frankly.”

Albright’s comments come a day after Rice contacted President Barack Obama and asked that she not be nominated as Secretary of State.

Rice had been under fire for weeks over her handling of information surrounding the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the U.S. Ambassador and three other Americans.

Among her most vocal critics was Arizona Sen. John McCain, who said on ABC’s “This Week’’ that Rice was “so disconnected with reality I don’t trust her.’’

Obama accepted Rice’s decision but said she will continue as an influential member of the national security team.

Albright, who said she has known Rice since she was four years old, called her a "remarkable person who has served our country in a number of different posts."

“[She has done] an amazing job at the UN, making very clear what American national interests are.

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