Why Susan Rice is being targeted by Republicans (+video)
Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, is on the short list to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But Sen. John McCain is leading a charge to keep Susan Rice from being nominated.
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The senators pressed for a special Senate committee to investigate the attack, saying that separate inquiries by various Senate panels will fail to get to the truth and that a comprehensive probe "up to and including the president of the United States" was warranted.Skip to next paragraph
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They introduced a Senate resolution calling for the special committee on Wednesday afternoon, drawing immediate Democratic opposition and doubts from some Republicans.
The senators argued that numerous questions about the attack remain unanswered, among them what Obama's national security team had told him about security in Libya, what steps were taken by Clinton and the role of the U.S. military.
"This administration has either been guilty of colossal incompetence or engaged in a cover-up," McCain said on the Senate floor shortly after introducing the resolution.
Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, who is poised to replace McCain as the top Republican on the Armed Services committee, said in a statement that Rice "would not be a fitting replacement at the State Department should Secretary Clinton step down."
"During her time as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Rice has been the Obama administration's point person in pursuing liberal causes that threaten U.S. sovereignty," Inhofe said.
Another name mentioned as a possible candidate for secretary of state is Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Democrat who has taken on envoy roles for the administration in Afghanistan and had been mentioned for the post when Obama was first elected.
Senior Senate aides and lawmakers have said Kerry would have no problem winning Senate confirmation and see him as a far better fit than Rice, who has had little contact with members of Congress. But the selection of Kerry would create an opening for the Senate seat in Massachusetts, and Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who lost re-election last week, would be a heavy favorite to win the seat.
That would weaken the grip the Democrats have on the Senate.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.