On Thursday, well-respected U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice (pictured) announced that she is stepping down from her run for secretary of state, according to NBC News.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, Rice voiced concern over an unnecessary and prolonged vetting due to the incessant criticism she experienced over the Benghazi, Libya, incident:
“If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly – to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities.
“That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country…. Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time.”
On September 11th, an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi caused the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Initially, Rice said in an interview with “Meet the Press” that the attacks were linked to an American anti-Muslim video that had gone viral:
“What happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video.
“Opportunistic extremist elements came to the consulate as this was unfolding. They came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are readily available in post-revolutionary Libya, and it escalated into a much more violent episode.”
While Rice was just reporting on the intelligence she was provided at the time, Republicans — eager to gain an edge during the 2012 presidential election against President Obama — upbraided Rice for misrepresenting the Benghazi incident as a backlash to the video as opposed to a full-on premeditated terrorist attack.