NELSON DEFENDS RICE, TWEAKS GOP

Posted 1 year ago

By John Axtell

Nebraska Democratic Senator Ben Nelson thinks U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice should have been more careful in the comments she made in the wake of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, but feels Republican criticisms of her are overblown.

Rice, a possible successor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said in one of the first official statements about the attack that it was a spontaneous reaction to an inflammatory video.

Nelson told reporters on a conference call Wednesday that Rice’s mistake wasn’t in saying that, it was in not emphasizing that her words were based on the best information at the time.

Nelson said she should have “couched” her comments by pointing out at the beginning that “first reports are almost always wrong, and sometimes they’re 100% wrong…and we don’t have enough information to be definitive.

Republicans, especially Arizona Senator and 2008 presidential nominee John McCain, have criticized Rice for her comments…suggesting the Obama administration tried to cover up the situation. Nelson rejected the idea completely.

“There was a lack of care and caution in the remarks, to be quite candid, (but) I don’t see a cover-up,” Nelson said, then took his own swipe at the GOP for going after Rice.  “Look, we have a bunch of people who didn’t get over the last election in 2008. Why do we expect that they’re going to get over the election in 2012?” Nelson said.

As for whether Rice would be a good Secretary of State, Nelson said he’s not making any comments on that at this time since she hasn’t been nominated for the post.


  • http://panhandlepost Kathy Gaertig

    Again Ben Nelson shows how out of contact he is as a Nebraskan. I wish he would just fade away in his last few weeks as a Senator and not draw attention by his comments to the fact that he represents Nebraska!