At the Wall Street Journal, "Senator Vows to Block Any Clinton Successor: After Meeting With Potential Secretary of State Nominee, Republicans Demand More Answers on Fatal Attack in Libya":
WASHINGTON—Ambassador Susan Rice’s attempt to repair her standing with Senate Republicans fell short Tuesday, as a trio of GOP senators emerged from a meeting with her even more harshly critical of the comments she made following the U.S. consulate attack in Libya.More at The Hill, "McCain: ‘I would be hard-pressed’ to support Rice for secretary of State." (At Memeorandum.)
One of the senators, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, said she would try to block the confirmation of Ms. Rice or another nominee to succeed departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “My view is we should hold on this until we get sufficient information,” she said.
Ms. Ayotte and Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the meeting on Capitol Hill left them more concerned than ever about the public statements Ms. Rice made in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, where U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed. “All I can say is that the concerns I have are greater today than they were before,” Mr. Graham said after the meeting. “We’re not even close to getting the basic answers.”
Ms. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, is seen as a front-runner to succeed Mrs. Clinton. In a statement issued after the meeting, Ms. Rice conceded that part of her comments about the attack in television interviews days afterward were incorrect, but said they were based on evolving intelligence.
In the interviews, Ms. Rice said the attack grew out of protests over an anti-Islamic video; officials later said there was no protest in Benghazi that day.
“The talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: There was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi,” she said in her statement. Ms. Rice added that she didn’t intend to mislead and said “the administration updated Congress and the American people as our assessments evolved.”
Ms. Ayotte said there was clear evidence early on that people with ties to al Qaeda had carried out the Libya attack.
Criticism of Ms. Rice by the Republican senators had appeared to be abating, but the Tuesday meeting rekindled hostilities. That may complicate her chances for the secretary of state slot. Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat, is another possibility for the job. President Barack Obama may announce his choice as soon as this week.