Susan Rice, the United Nations Ambassador and President Barack Obama's likely pick to be the next Secretary of State, has South Carolina roots.
Her father, Emmett J. Rice, was born in Florence and lived there until he was 16, according to U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn.
"Susan Rice's roots are in Florence, South Carolina, that I got the opportunity to serve for almost 20 years in the Congress," Clyburn said on MSNBC's Hardball on Wednesday night. "Her father, who -- Emmett, who was born there in Florence, didn't leave there until he was 16 years old -- I have been a close friend of his over the years. I'm a close friend with Susan Rice."
Wednesday, Rice was the center of controversy in Washington after Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina pledged to block Rice's potential nomination to replace Hilary Clinton as secretary of state.
"I don't trust her," Graham told reporters on Wednesday, arguing that Rice's statements after the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, were wrong. "The reason I don't trust her is because I think she knew better, and if she didn't know better, she shouldn't be the voice of America."
Those comments upset Clyburn, who responded on Hardball.
"I think it's absolutely a shame for this young lady, whose roots are deep in South Carolina soil, to get sullied like this by my senior senator, who I consider to be a good friend," Clyburn said, according to a transcript of the broadcast by CQ Transcriptswire.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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