Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have softened their rhetoric about UN Ambassador Susan Rice.
“I think she deserves the ability and the opportunity to explain herself and her position,” McCain, R-Ariz., told “Fox News Sunday.” ”But she’s not the problem. The problem is the president of the United States” who misled the public on terrorist involvement.
McCain’s remarks were in contrast to his previous stance that Rice wasn’t qualified to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is expected to step down soon as the top U.S. diplomat, and that he would do “whatever is necessary” to block Rice’s possible nomination…
Sen. Lindsey Graham, McCain’s close friend and colleague on the committee, told ABC “This Week” he still suspects the White House intentionally glossed over obvious terrorist links in the attack to keep voters from questioning Obama’s handling of national security.
But instead of repeating his prior assertion that he was “dead set” against a Rice promotion, Graham suggested he looked forward to hearing her out. If Rice were nominated, “there will be a lot of questions asked of her about this event and others,” said Graham, R-S.C.
The subtle shift in GOP tenor on Rice could be the result of internal grumblings on how far to take party opposition. Democrats picked up extra seats in the election to maintain their narrow majority, making it that much harder for the remaining 45 Republicans to block the president’s nominees.
One senior GOP Senate aide said Sunday that Republicans hadn’t united against Rice and were not convinced that she was worth going after.