UN Ambassador Susan Rice Fires Back at Mitt Romney and Rick Perry: Don’t ‘Play Politics’ with Diplomacy

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President Obama faces a diplomatic thicket at the UN this week, and it’s drawing fire from the Republicans who want to replace him.  This morning on “GMA,” Obama’s UN Ambassador fired back.

Saying the Republicans were “playing politics” with international issues, Susan Rice responded to Mitt Romney, who called the President’s handling of Palestinian statehood an “unmitigated diplomatic disaster,” and Rick Perry, who suggested the U.S. should cut off funding for the Palestinian Authority if it continues to pursue a UN vote on statehood.

“I think Governor Perry ought to really consider the real world implications of that for Israel. Because the security assistance that the United States provides the Palestinian Authority benefits Israel directly and Israelis are well aware of that,” Rice said.

Twice during our interview Rice accused Republicans of “playing politics” with important international issues.

“But the reality is George, from his second day in office President Obama has been committed to bringing the Palestinian and Israelis to a final agreement so that there is an independent Palestinian state living side by side with the Jewish state of Israel,” she told me. “He’s done so and will continue to do so first and foremost because it is in our national interest to do so, it’s the right thing also for Israel and for the Palestinians.”

“So for those who want to play politics they’ll play politics. But the reality is Israel has had no better partner than this administration,” Rice said.

The Ambassador also backed up Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta who said it is a “matter of time” before the revolutions swept parts of the Middle East and North Africa hit Iran.

“I think the underlying conditions are there, as we saw two years ago following their elections there is great desire among the Iranian people for freedom, for the ability to express themselves openly and to chart their own future,” she said. “So I do believe that what we have seen in many parts of North Africa and the Middle East will eventually come to parts it hasn’t gotten to yet.”

Watch the interview here:


George Stephanopoulos