Sen. Graham defends Rice attacks: I’m not racist

Updated
Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Washington, D.C.
Karen Bleier/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham is firing back at those saying that race is a factor in the Republican campaign to stop Susan Rice from becoming Secretary of State.

“When you can’t answer the question you attack the questioner. The only color I’m worried about when it comes to Benghazi is red, blood red. The death of four Americans,” Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on Fox News Wednesday morning.

Rep. James Clyburn charged Tuesday that opponents of Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., are using racial “code words” to attack her. Other Democrats have made similar accusations.

Sen. John McCain has called Rice, a former state Department official and adviser to the Clinton White House, “not qualified” to serve as Secretary of State. Graham has said she doesn’t “deserve” promotion. Both have cited what they see as misleading statements from Rice about the role of terrorism in the September attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

On Fox, Graham continued:

And what motivates Sen. McCain and myself is that we were in Libya last September, we came back and wrote an op-ed piece that if we don’t form a national army to replace these militias, Libya’s going to break apart. And the sad story is not just the four dead Americans, which is heartbreaking, the Libya people want to move forward. And this leading from behind by Obama, we’ve done nothing to help them form an army to replace the militias.

Sen. Graham defends Rice attacks: I'm not racist

Updated