Jansing and Co | November 21, 2012
>>> as secretary of state hillary clinton tries to broker a cease-fire between hamas and israel, here at home the controversy is growing surrounding her potential replacement, susan rice . assistant house democratic leader james clyburn is now suggesting that race may have something to do with republican opposition to the u.s. ambassador to the u.n. , including those calling rice incompetent for her handling of the benghazi terror attack .
>> these are code words . we heard them during the campaign. during this recent campaign, we heard senator sununu calling our president lazy, incompetent. these kinds of terms that those of us, especially those of us who are 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.
>> let's bring in republican strategist and former huckabee campaign manager dick salzman and former campaign manager steve elmendorf . good morning.
>> good morning.
>> steve, could race have something to do with the opposition to rice as clyburn suggests?
>> they haven't come up with any, to me, any substantive reason they're opposed to susan rice . i think the republicans need to understand that we won the election and that the president generally gets to pick his team and if he's not going to get to pick his team, they have to have a real good substantive reason not. i haven't heard john mccain or lindsey grame say susan rice should not be secretary of state if president obama wants her to be.
>> and california congress welcome karen bass also ratzed concerns about the opposition to susan rice .
>> this really compromises us and makes us look ridiculous i believe internationally because as far as i'm concerned, again, this is my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that are still recovering from november 6th . the election is over.
>> chip, is it fair? what's going on here with this opposition?
>> well, unfortunately, i think this has a little bit to do with politics on both sides, and it's always kind of funny to watch both parties after an election when they go after the other one's nominees and go this is all politics, this is terrible, and yet when they're on the opposite side they do the same thing. senator mccain and senator graham certainly have points they'll discus during the nomination process. susan rice is not the nominee to be the next united states secretary of state . and when that process happens, i think the senate will do its job through the constitution and vet that candidate, and that's what they do.
>> but this is all about the sunday talk shows she did when she talked about benghazi. "the new york times" reports that second toir clinton was originally asked by the white house to talk about it but frankly was exhausted after a very busy week and said susan rice filled in, she recruited the talking points that were given. are republicans making her a scapegoat?
>> i think they want to get to the truth. the one thing i applaud the administration on is they're doing investigations, they want to get to the truth. i think the republicans in the senate are doing their job, too. they want the know the truth. when did the administration know exactly what that was. i think when you trot out something like this was because of a videotape, it raises questions. i think if she is nominated to be secretary of state, this is all going to be hashed out in the committee hearings.
>> to be fair, besides the criticism from some conservatives, leading columnists including maureen dowd and dana milbank have crazed questions. this is dana's column. she united statess it's ill equipped to be the nation's top diplomat for reasons that have little to do with libya. even in a town that rewards sharp el lows and sometime obscenities. near nearly 100 house republicans have sent a letter to the president urging them not to nominate her. is he willing to spend the political capital ?
>> i think he will if he decides she's the choice. we need to remember the house republicans have nothing to do with confirming secretary of states. i know susan rice , worked with her in the john kerry campaign in 2004 . she has the skill and the judgment to be secretary of state if president obama wants her to be.
>> it's unfair?
>> completely unfair. it's a tough town and lots of people want to be secretary of state i suspect. and the press has a role to play here, but at the end of the day i think if barack obama , who's just been rere elected, would like susan rice to be his secretary of state, she will be.
>> steve, chip, happy thanksgiving.