Susan Rice’s already fading chances of becoming the next secretary of state suffered another serious blow Wednesday courtesy of moderate GOP Sen. Susan Collins.
Rice, the U.N. ambassador, will need the support of a handful of Republicans if she expects to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But Collins emerged from a face-to-face meeting and blasted Rice’s response to the Benghazi attack — the latest of several Republicans this week to signal that a Rice nomination will have real trouble getting through the Senate.
Collins (R-Maine), the top Republican on the Homeland Security Committee, accused Rice of playing a “political role” during the presidential election by going on five Sunday talk shows and incorrectly describing the deadly Sept. 11 assault as something spurred by spontaneous protests rather than a deliberate terrorist attack.
And Collins said Rice’s response to Benghazi had an “eerie echo” of the 1998 bombings of two African embassies, which occurred when Rice was an assistant secretary of state for African Affairs.
“And what troubles me so much is that the Benghazi attacks echoes the attacks on those embassies in 1998 when Susan Rice was head of the African region for our State Department. … She had to be aware of the general threat assessment and of the ambassadors’ request for more security.”