ABC Continues to Spin for Susan Rice: She Ran Into a GOP 'Buzz Saw' on Tuesday
Good Morning America's reporters on Wednesday continued to fret about the fate of Susan Rice, lamenting the GOP "buzz saw" the UN Ambassador ran into on Tuesday. ABC's Martha Raddatz hyped all the pressing issues in the world as a possible reason to just confirm the potential Secretary of State nominee quickly.
Martha Raddatz worried, "You have got Iran that is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. You have got North Korea. There's satellite photos just out showing that North Korea would like to test another long-range ballistic missile." She then reminded that this is "such a critical time in Afghanistan." GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos referenced the fall of David Petraeus and hyped that all of these vacancies are "happening when there's a lot of hot spots in the world bubbling up."
Earlier in the segment, Stephanopoulos described Rice's meeting on Capitol Hill, complaining that Rice "ran into a buzz saw yesterday on Capitol Hill when she met with Republican senators critical of her nomination."
Reporter Jon Karl did highlight Republican criticism noting that Senator Bob Corker knocked Rice saying she is better suited to be "the chairman of the Democratic Party, than Secretary of State."
A transcript of the November 28 segment follows:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, to the battle brewing over who will be the next Secretary of State. No final decision yet from President Obama, but the front-runner is U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. And she ran into a buzz saw yesterday on Capitol Hill when she met with Republican senators critical of her nomination. Take a look.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: The concerns I have are greater today than they were before. And we're not even close to getting the basic answers.
KELLY AYOTTE: I want to say that I'm more troubled today.
JOHN MCCAIN: We are significantly troubled by many of the answers.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ABCs Jonathan Karl is covering all this from Washington. Jon, you know, on Sunday, it looked like some of those senators, Graham and McCain, had softened their opposition. But not after the meeting yesterday. What went wrong in that room?
KARL: Well, once again, they clashed over what Rice said about the attack in the U.S. consulate Benghazi, Libya, in the days after the attack. Sources inside the meeting say that Rice started off by acknowledging that some of what she said was not true. But she also presented evidence that came directly from the CIA, everything that she said. The senators responded by accusing both her and the CIA of shading it for political reasons. Rice, as you can imagine, forcefully denied that. And, George, so did the acting CIA director, who was with her in the meeting. Those Republican senators just didn't buy it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, Jon, the White House insists President Obama has not made the decision to nominate Ambassador Rice for Secretary of State. But they also say that this opposition isn't going to make the difference in that decision.
KARL: They've been consistent in saying that. And Rice herself has told people she had no idea whether or not the President will actually actually nominate her. The White House tells me she is very much the leading candidate. And Hillary Clinton, friends of Hillary Clinton say, that they expect her to leave immediately after the President's first term is over, in early January. So, time, is really running out on that, George. I would expect a decision on this very soon, certainly well before Christmas.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Rice will be meeting with more senators today?
KARL: Yes, that's right. Including Bob Corker, another big critic, who said she's better suited to be the DNC chairman, the chairman of the Democratic Party, than Secretary of State. She is not shying away from her critics.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, another tough meeting ahead. Jon Karl, thanks very much. Let's get more from ABC's national security correspondent Martha Raddatz. Martha, you know, this comes at such a critical time. Not only is Secretary of State Clinton leaving. Also, the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta. And, of course, David Petraeus out the CIA. And so, all of these vacancies are happening when there's a lot of hot spots in the world bubbling up.
RADDATZ: Oh, there sure are, George. This is, indeed, a very critical time. The election may be over. But look ahead. You have got Iran that is trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. You have got North Korea. There's satellite photos just out showing that North Korea would like to test another long-range ballistic missile. And you have Afghanistan. This is such a critical time in Afghanistan. They're putting together draw down plans and what the U.S. does after 2014.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, the big decision there is how many troops to leave in right now. And then, how quickly to ramp down, going to 2014.
RADDATZ: How quickly. And you've got General John Allen there who is under investigation because of the e-mails involved in the Petraeus affair.