the running to replace hillary clinton as secretary of state. Abc's jake tapper is tracking the latest from the white house. Good morning, jake. Reporter: Good morning, george. White house officials... See More
the running to replace hillary clinton as secretary of state. Abc's jake tapper is tracking the latest from the white house. Good morning, jake. Reporter: Good morning, george. White house officials say they're angry about the unfair way that susan rice was treated by republicans on the hill. With signals from republicans that hers would be a bruising confirmation battle, and from the white house that the president thought senator john kerry might be a better choice, overnight, the u.S. Ambassador to the united nations rolled out her withdrawal campaign. I didn't want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting and very disruptive. Reporter: On nbc and in a "washington post" op-ed, susan rice writes a washington battle was the last thing the country needs. Late thursday, president obama reconfirmed his confidence in her. I could not be prouder with her. She will continue to be one of the top members of my national security team. Reporter: Rice has become the designated obama administration targets for republicans seeking answers and/or political advantage, relating to the terrorist attacks on september 11th, 2012, ON THE DIPLOMATIC Compound in benghazi, libya. In fact, what this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated response. Reporter: Five days after this attacks, rice went on the sunday shows, repeating talking points from the intelligence community, that critics said downplayed the terrorist attack in the weeks leading up to the election. I didn't mislead. I didn't misrepresent. I did the best with the information the united states government had at the time. Reporter: Democrats point out that republicans didn't have as hard a time with a different national security adviser named rice who had different inaccurate talking points from the intelligence community. That was condoleezza rice talking about iraqi weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist. That was a different time. Let's get more on this from our senior foreign affairs correspondent, martha raddatz. And martha raddatz, now in line to be named secretary of state, senator john kerry of massachusetts. This is still a painful, personal retreat for both the president and ambassador rice. Reporter: It's true, george. They're very different kinds of choices. Different kinds of style. Kerry's safe, low-key, even-keeled and has lots of experience. Susan rice has experience in foreign affairs. But she's more combative and in your face. She was seen as a riskier choice. Now, the president doesn't want to battle over people. That's what the ambassador said, as well. That's why she pulled herself out. Meanwhile, we're seeing the challenges continue to mount for the president overseas. Particularly in syria. We learned overnight that the united states will be sending more firepower to the region. Reporter: They will. Two patriot rounds to prevent crossing from the border with turkey. That's happened in the past. But this is a symbolic show of force, to signal support of turkey and to put more pressure on syria. But it does require about 400 troops to operate those systems. That will take a little while to get there, george.
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