Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would like for Susan Rice to admit that she gave out “wrong information” days after the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, that killed four Americans.
“Maybe she could start out by publicly coming back on this show and saying, I was wrong, I gave the wrong information on your show some several weeks ago,” said McCain on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is seen by many as the favorite to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State but faces stiff opposition from several Republican senators, and McCain has been perhaps the most vocal of them.
Critics of the White House response say that the administration was too quick to dismiss the attacks as a reaction to a video insulting to the Prophet Mohammed, when in fact the attacks were later confirmed to be the result of a terror plot.
Democratic senators defending Rice point out that she received talking points that were signed off by all members of the Intelligence Committee that did not make any reference to terrorism at all.
“But it wasn’t her fault,” said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who defended Rice today on “Face the Nation.” “And to say that she has to be held accountable because an intelligence agency didn’t tell the whole story initially for reasons of national security is totally unfair.”
Attacks on Rice’s performance earlier last week prompted President Obama to lash out and tell her critics to attack him instead.
McCain today said he did not want the president mad at him, but just wanted to find out what happened in the attack.
“I wish the president wouldn’t get mad at me,” he said. “I wish he would spend our time together in finding out what happened, what caused it, and what we need — four brave Americans died.”