97 House Republicans Sign Anti-Rice Letter to Obama

But Rep. Clyburn sees 'code words' in letter

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 20, 2012 11:38 AM CST

(Newser) – Nearly one-quarter of the House of Representatives is opposed to Susan Rice replacing Hillary Clinton as the secretary of state. In a letter to President Obama yesterday, 97 House Republicans said Rice's "misleading statements" in the wake of the Benghazi attack "caused irreparable damage to her credibility," Politico reports. The letter goes on to claim that Rice "is widely viewed as having either willfully or incompetently misled the American public."

But only the Senate has the power to block administration nominees, and so far only Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have announced any plans to block Rice. Meanwhile, Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn sees a race flap in the words being thrown around to describe Rice. "These are code words," he tells CNN. "We heard them during the campaign. During this recent campaign, we heard Sununu calling our president 'lazy,' 'incompetent.' These kinds of terms that those of us—especially those of us who were born and raised in the South—we’ve been hearing these little words and phrases all of our lives and we get insulted by them. ... Say that she was wrong, but don’t call her incompetent."

This June 7, 2012 file photo shows US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice listening during a news conference at the UN.
This June 7, 2012 file photo shows US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice listening during a news conference at the UN.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
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Rep. Jim Clyburn talks to CNN.   (CNN)

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