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Susan Rice fails to charm GOP senators (+video)

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice met with Republican senators Wednesday, in an effort to diffuse criticisms surrounding her possible nomination for secretary of state. But even moderate senators walked away vowing to block the nomination.

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This year's attack in Benghazi "echoed" those attacks, she said. "In both cases, the ambassador begged for additional security," and State turned down both requests, she said.

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"I asked Ambassador Rice what her role was. She said that she would have to refresh her memory but that she was not involved directly in turning down the request. But surely, given her position as assistant secretary for African affairs, she had to have been aware," Collins said.

Republicans have openly criticized Rice for initial comments after the Benghazi attack that suggested it was a spontaneous event arising from protests of an anti-Islam film rather than a planned terrorist strike.

Intelligence officials said later the attack was possibly tied to al Qaeda affiliates.

Rice, accompanied by acting CIA Director Michael Morell, also met with Senator Bob Corker, who is in line to be the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

After his meeting, Corker had tough words for the Benghazi attack and the aftermath, which he termed a "tawdry affair" that would add to Americans' distrust of the government.

He declined to discuss whether he would support Rice, but urged Obama to "step back" from the controversy and "take a deep breath" as he decided whom to nominate.

Rice also met for about an hour behind closed doors on Tuesday with Republican Senators John McCain,Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte, who have been among her most vocal critics.

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