The White House announced Thursday that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name for consideration to replace Hillary Clinton as U.S. Secretary of State. Rice will continue as the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.
Republicans had been critical of Rice’s nomination following initial statements she made after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya that suggested it was a protest, rather than a terrorist attack.
In a statement released by the White House, President Barack Obama said, “Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State.”
President Obama said that for two decades Rice has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant.
“As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America’s interests,” read the President’s statement, adding that, “Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel’s security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of all people.”
President Obama said that Rice will continue to serve as Ambassador at the United Nations and be a key member of his cabinet and national security team.
“I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend,” said the President in the statement.
With respect to the opposition to Rice’s nomination, Obama said, “While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first.”