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And the person thought to be at the top of president Obama's short list to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.
Has taken herself out of the running United Nations ambassador Susan Rice has been.
Under withering assault from Republicans over her response.
To September's terror attack in Ben Ghazi Libya.
Let's get the latest from chief White House correspondent Ed Henry breeding and good eating bread is a dramatic shift because this is the president.
Skating on someone who he really wanted to installs is next secretary of state.
I'm told by top Democrat he's been agonizing over this privately in recent days because he really wanted to give her this promotion.
We also know of course in his first post election news conference the president very aggressively defended Susan Rice against attacks from Republicans on the hill all over whether or not she misled the public about but god he -- the president tried to put the best face on this earlier today by defending her very aggressively again -- quote.
I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come.
In fact we reported earlier today the top Democrats.
That they believe Susan Rice is a contender to become national security advisor.
Here at the White House the key being that she would not need senate confirmation.
For that post -- rice in fact noting in a letter to the president that with the potential filibuster from Republicans quote we cannot afford such an irresponsible distraction.
From the most pressing issues facing the American people -- of course the likely pick for secretary of state is Senator John Kerry there are some Democrats on Capitol Hill tonight worried that Republican Scott Brown could take that open senate seat if in fact John Kerry steps down but this White House tonight made a much bigger political calculation they could not start off this second term.
With a bloody battle over -- -- Brett.
And that it's a busy night over there at the White House other news is what.
That's right just the last -- speaker John Boehner.
Came over here it was rather quickly that all of this came together he's behind closed doors right now with the president talking about the fiscal cliff this -- may be a last ditch attempt.
To try to get a deal.
Obama was not fretting about the fiscal cliff as he strolled to a holiday party.
Joking with Fox News about the warm weather and expressing hope for a deal -- -- about -- -- optimistic.
-- -- Speaker John Boehner -- not so hopeful it's this issue.
Spending Boehner again railed against what he claims are not enough spending cuts in the White House proposal and slammed the president push for executive power to raise the debt ceiling.
Something he says Democrats never would have given former president George W.
Do you think there's any chance.
The senator readers of the bands that are Obama would have done that zero.
Congress is never.
Going be up up our ability to to control the purse.
A new fox poll suggests the public wants spending reined in with 49%.
Saying the federal government provides too many services.
Only 20% says too few services 25%.
Says the right amount.
Yet the talks are now so far off track a senior Democrat tells fox at a private dinner on Wednesday senate majority leader Harry Reid told colleagues.
He now believes getting a major deal to avoid the fiscal -- by Christmas is almost impossible so unless there is a dramatic last minute agreement by the president and the speaker that includes tax and spending changes momentum is gaining around a plan beat.
In which the house passes the senate bill to extend the middle class tax cuts and allow taxes to -- -- on the rich and -- the spending fight to next year.
In case of emergency.
The how should break the glass that the -- house speaker ought to allow the Republicans to vote on extending.
Tax cuts for 90% of the American people that would deal with.
A chunk of that so called fiscal cliff.
While the White House has been confident the president has the upper hand a new NBC news Wall Street Journal poll suggests otherwise.
Asked who gets the blame if Washington goes off the cliff.
19% said the president and Democrats 24% said Republicans and 56%.
Said they would be equally to blame.
Now the president just did a series of local TV interviews to -- more pressure on John Boehner and the Republicans and one of those interviews.
He said look he's already cut a trillion dollars in spending he's willing to do in the president's words.
A lot more he still wants a big deal in the neighborhood of four trillion dollars we'll see whether he and the speaker behind closed doors right now.
Can get their -- More on Susan Rice and the fiscal cliff with the panel but -- before we let you go ahead what's the news about.
The president's new cabinet also some news about that today that's right senior Democrats are telling me that Chuck Hagel former Republican senators now -- leading contender to be Defense Secretary.
Leon Panetta expected to step down soon a bottom -- -- of -- the president met behind closed doors here at the White House earlier this month.
He served with the president of the senate as well as with Vice President Biden in the senate and I'll pull behind the scenes Biden is pushing this very hard so we could see it -- -- -- new national security team and also the possibility of Susan Rice moving over here to be national security advisor Brent.
OK Ed thank you.
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