Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson joined PoliticsNation to defend embattled Ambassador Susan Rice. He’s uniquely qualified to address Ambassador Rice’s early comments on the Benghazi attacks, since he also served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1997 to 1998.
He took issue with the idea that Rice’s appearance on news shows was deliberately misleading. In his own time as U.N. ambassador, he said, “We would get whenever we’d go on a news show… an intelligence briefing or a piece of paper that gave you the guidance that you had an on event that happened overseas. Susan was following that guidance, and she did it very well.”
Richardson also joined fellow Democrats who’ve been defending the president’s right to name his own secretary of state. “If the president wants to nominate her as secretary of state we should just put the politics aside.”
He also reiterated that Susan Rice is qualified for the job, noting her work to tighten sanctions on Libya and North Korea, her experience dealing with African issues, and her intelligence and work ethic.
Richardson addressed the criticism that Rice’s response to the Benghazi attack was similar to her role in the aftermath of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa, when she was head of the State Department’s Africa region. He had been serving in Rice’s current job at the time of those attacks. He says there would be nothing for her to explain about those attacks, saying she was “an excellent policymaker” but was “not in charge of embassy security.” He said, “To suggest that Susan had a role in that is just not appropriate. It’s not wise.”