Senator John McCain of Arizona said he would oppose Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and would seek to block the nomination if President Barack Obama picks her for the job.
“I’m adamantly opposed and will do everything I can to keep her from getting confirmed,” McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in an interview. He said she shouldn’t get the position because of her remarks about the fatal Sept. 11 attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
Rice, 47, remarked on Sunday television talk shows on Sept. 16 that the Benghazi attack began as a peaceful protest that was “hijacked” by militants. The Obama administration said she based her comments on intelligence reports at the time. Republicans have questioned whether Rice was trying to conceal that terrorists were behind the assault.
Rice is considered a favorite to be secretary of state when Clinton leaves the administration, according to White House officials who have spoken about the position on condition of anonymity.