News Column

Obama Praises Rice, Yet to Decide on Secretary of State

Dec. 4, 2012

President Barack said Tuesday he supports embattled UN Ambassador Susan Rice but has not decided whether he will nominate her to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"I don't really spend a lot of time on what folks say on cable news programmes attacking highly qualified personnel like Susan Rice," Obama said in an interview with Bloomberg television.

With Clinton's State Department departure looming, Obama must name a successor, requiring Senate approval. Rice was widely speculated to be at the top of a short list of candidates.

She has come under intense scrutiny from opposition Republicans for comments she made in the days after the September 11 deadly attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, claiming it was the result of a demonstration against an anti-Muslim internet video and not a terrorist act.

The Obama administration has since said the incident was a terrorist attack with no demonstration in Benghazi related to the video.

"I'm going to make a decision about who's going to be the best secretary of state, given we've got a changing world and there are great opportunities for the US to show leadership around the world," Obama said.

"There are a lot of challenges, as well, and I'm going to make sure we've got a full national security team that can give me the best advice possible and do everything they can to keep our country safe. Susan Rice has done a great job as UN ambassador, but I haven't made a decision about secretary of state."

Source: Copyright 2012 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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