Rice withdraws name from secretary of state consideration
Potential confirmation battle taken off president's plate
- Duration 5:36
- Date Dec 13, 2012
Potential confirmation battle taken off president's plate
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Breaking news for you right now the US ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice big news here officially withdrawing.
Her name from consideration for secretary of state.
Breaking news as it's happening right now why would she do that.
Let's go to Jonathan Hunt -- in studio with me right now.
I mean obviously this has been a very controversial situation Jonathan because as we know a couple of days after the -- -- attacks in Libya where US ambassador was killed along with three other Americans.
Susan Rice was sent out on five Sunday talk shows.
And said it was because of this spontaneous reaction from.
An anti Muslim videotape many people thought at that time that it could have been a terrorist attack that they knew at that time that it was a terrorist attack -- her name was floated what do you make it.
Well -- Obviously -- became clear very quickly that it was going to be very difficult.
For the ambassador to the United Nations to get the nomination as secretary of state and to get it through.
Because so many Republicans.
Bush infuriated by those comments she made the questions were always being us.
Why was she the one who was to put out that lighted circuit -- Hillary Clinton not take to the Sunday talk show circuit -- -- But either way whatever the reasons behind it the blow back from Republicans.
Was so great that it was always difficult to see.
Being actually cleared as the next -- of -- interesting India white has statement that they put that.
That President Obama says I'm grateful that she will continue to serve as our ambassador to the UN had been told about -- to the white -- his national security.
Advise which doesn't require confirmation through the senate of course so interesting to see that he's saying she'll stay at the UN.
Jonathan thanks much let's go out to Ed Henry who covers the white house on a daily basis for us.
Ed surprising news -- mean usually when we hear about these types of things that happen on a Friday afternoon what do you make of it.
Well what I make of it is that the president is moving closer and closer to naming a new national security team this is in a broader context I've been told by senior Democrat to the president now has a check -- all the former Republican senator as is leading contender to be Defense Secretary that he had a meeting -- -- with the president a couple weeks back.
Here at the White House I was also hearing several weeks before we even heard this about Susan Rice -- stepping -- we have to now the letter she sent to the president withdrawing her name from consideration for secretary of state minority hearing from top Democrats that John Kerry the senate foreign relations chairman had become the leading contender for secretary of state.
I've also heard several -- will see whether or not this still happens.
That Susan Rice has been under consideration for national security advisor.
Inside the White House the point being that's a very senior post where you still have a lot of influence.
Over the president's national security policy.
But it's -- position here in the White House.
That would not be confirmable by the senate so the president could just a pointer to national security advisor we'll see whether or not he does that some Democrats have floated that to me.
The point being they knew and the reason why this is breaking now.
They do inside the White House Susan Rice herself -- at the UN.
That with Senator John McCain other Republicans threatening to filibuster her nomination to secretary of state that that was is going to be a bloody battle the president did not want to kick off the second term with.
He's -- in the middle of the big budget battle I should note that about an hour from now we have other breaking news expecting speaker John Boehner to come over here for another face to face chat with the president but their second in just 45 days remember he was here on Sunday so the bottom -- president's got a lot else on his plate.
This takes a big potential battle Susan Rice office played.
Yeah I remember when she went to serve extended the olive branch to those Republicans who were staunchly against -- remember she called for meetings -- McCain and others I believe Lindsey Graham and then they -- Kelly I got they came out after the meeting and they said actually you know we feel worse now.
They -- things were not cleared up and another pivotal moment after that you're right to note that it after those meetings with those senators who -- really kind of noted that there were opposed to Susan Rice before the meetings they came out your right had even more questions.
But even more pivotal than that would you had a moderate Republican -- Susan Collins within days of those meetings met with Susan Rice she came out of that meeting saying.
I'm not sure I can support this nomination if she is nominated be secretary of state.
You have even a moderate Republican who is of the -- supported some of the president's.
Democratic nominees saying I'm not so sure about this.
A female senator Susan Collins a moderate Republican.
That was pretty clear the votes were not there in the senate for Susan -- to become secretary of -- Very astute point -- Henrik thanks much let's go to my gut Emmanuel now who we are just talking to about this John Boehner and President Obama meeting.
Now there's another big piece of news here what can you tell.
Well essentially dressed in a lot of people here on Capitol Hill were wondering whether the -- United States wanted to fight over the his next secretary of state.
A lot of the Republican senators I've been talking to look here were saying you know they.
Essentially he should have the person that he wants in that role but they had serious reservations.
About -- Susan Rice and so after she came up here to try and clear up essentially misunderstandings over Ben -- or try to.
Answer their questions a lot of them your correct work.
Very irritated after the meeting Susan Collins withdrawing support who -- a moderate from Maine John McCain Lindsey Graham from South Carolina also seen.
More furious after she came up here -- before hand and so it seemed pretty clear that Susan rice's nomination if it were to be submitted.
Would be a serious fight that perhaps the president did not want at this point with so much else that he's trying to get accomplished heading into -- second term.