Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham vowed to block U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for a potential cabinet position after her remarks on the deadly Benghazi attack. Yet not so long ago, they defended Condoleezza Rice over her misinformed Iraq WMD testimony.
msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell called out these top Republicans senators over their apparent double standard in Wednesday’s Rewrite segment on The Last Word.
“Lindsey Graham and John McCain are the same guys who had no problem voting for another woman named Rice to be Secretary of State. And they cast those votes after Condoleezza Rice failed miserably as George W. Bush’s national security adviser after she and everyone else in the Bush administration misread the intelligence on Iraq’s, as it turned out, nonexistent weapons of mass destruction program.”
The Republicans criticized Susan Rice for appearing on Sunday talk shows, prematurely claiming protests over an anti-Islamic video were the cause of the deadly Sept. 11 attacks, instead of calling the assault a premeditated strike. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans died in the chaos.
Rice, who has not been formally nominated for a position, is reportedly a front-runner for the Secretary of State post, soon to be vacated by Sec. Hillary Clinton.
O’Donnell accused Graham of “lying Joe McCarthy-style” for calling Susan Rice “’an essential player in the Benghazi debacle.”
McCain, who selected Sarah Palin to be a heartbeat away from the White House, said Susan Rice is “not qualified.” He said, “Anyone who goes on national television in defiance of the facts five days later–we’re all responsible for what we say and what we do.”
President Obama fiercely hit back at the senators’ claims in a press conference on Wednesday. “She made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” said Obama.
McCain and Graham want to create a new special Senate committee to investigate the Benghazi attack.