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 Politics Archive 2014

Republicans are re-launching a wave
of attacks at Susan Rice
by Nathan'ette Burdine: June 15, 2014

Republicans began re-launching a wave of criticism against National Security Adviser Susan Rice after she made her Sunday Morning talk show rounds on June 1, 2014, to discuss the Taliban’s release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Rice’s comment on ABC “This Week” that Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction” caused anger amongst several Republicans.

They questioned why Rice would describe Bergdahl’s service as “honorable and distinguish” considering that a 2010 Pentagon report, along with Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers, stated that Bergdahl abandon his post.

During an appearance on CNN, Ben Ferguson, a Republican columnist, questioned Rice’s competency and said that her description of Bergdahl as “honorable and distinguish” is troubling considering there is information suggesting otherwise.

Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer told Politico that the Obama administration should consider using someone else to talk about hot button issues.

According to Newsmax, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) likened the recent controversy to that surrounding the comments Rice made about the anti-Muslim video causing the September 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

Graham told Newsmax that Rice’s recent comments caused him to have “no confidence in her” and that Rice should be “fired.” CNN’s Jim Acosta asked Rice about the negative criticism that her recent comments about Sgt. Bergdahl have garnered from Republicans.

Rice stood firm and said that joining the military was “honorable and distinguish” in and of its self: “I realize there has been lots of discussion and controversy around this. But what I was referring to was the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That, in and of itself, is a very honorable thing.”

Rice went on to say that she is not a “liar” and that she is given the American people the information that was given to her.

Rice became a target of Republican criticism after she commented that the September 11, 2012, attacks in Benghazi were caused by an anti-Muslim video that led to a protest.

Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain (R-AZ) were amongst the first group of Republicans who questioned why Rice would attribute the attacks to the anti-Muslim video considering the type of weapons used during the attacks and the coordination of the attackers.

Rice’s comments resulted in Senators Graham and McCain leading a successful coup to prevent her from succeeding Hillary Clinton as the next Secretary of State.

Acosta asked Rice if she thought her previous statements led to her not becoming the Secretary of State and she responded that she had no regrets and couldn’t predict what would have been.

According to Time Magazine, some officials within the Obama administration expressed concern that Rice may not be the best person to talk about important foreign policy issues.

Time quoted one unnamed official as saying that Rice made a “grave error” with her description of Bergdahl as “honorable and distinguish.”

But that one unnamed official’s criticism of Rice was soon quelled by others in the administration who began to rally around her as the Republican criticism began to heat up.

Patrick Ventrell, spokesman for the National Security Council, told Time that Rice is a loyal supporter and defender of President Obama and she has no fear of defending a “controversial decision” that President Obama has made.

Another Obama administration official told Time that Rice brings out a particular kind of anger “in a certain crowd:” “She sort of brings out this craziness in a certain crowd. If something is taken a half notch out of context, it’s call for her resignation and vicious ad hominem attacks against her. I’m not here to suggest it’s because she’s a woman or a minority or what it is. But other principals in the national-security team don’t come under this kind of attack.”

For his part, President Obama has stood by Susan Rice. The president repeated Rice’s comments in saying that Bergdahl service to the military was honorable and that the public should allow him to have his say and the due process that is afforded to all “Americans.”

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