United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her nomination as the next secretary of state.
“If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities,” Rice wrote in a letter to President Obama obtained by The Washington Post. “That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country…Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time.”
Rice will continue to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and key member of President Obama’s national security team.
Republicans relentlessly criticized Rice for her handling of information about the attack on a U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi.
She has been under intense fire from Republicans for initially characterizing the Sept. 11 assault on the U.S. consulate in Libya as a spur-of-the-moment response to a crude anti-Muslim film.
“What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video,” Rice said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” five days after the attack.
As more details emerged suggesting it was a premeditated terrorist action, GOP critics accused Rice of misleading the public at the height of the presidential campaign.