United Nations Ambassador Susan E. Rice “doesn’t do her homework,” said Colorado Springs’ Rep. Doug Lamborn, during an interview on Fox News Sunday.
Lamborn, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, tore into the prospective secretary of state, and said she shouldn’t be considered for the post because she’s incompetent and “is not up to the job.”
Rice has been near the center of a controversy over the Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, and has been criticized by conservatives who say she wasn’t being forthright with the American public. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, Rice said repeatedly that the deaths were due to an unexpected riot.
Lamborn said Rice and others officials knew almost right away that the attack, which claimed the lives of four Americans, was set up by a terrorist organization. But they delayed saying so for improper reasons, Lamborn said.
“Susan Rice was telling us things — and I don’t think it was necessarily her fault — she was telling us things that were false,” Lamborn told Fox News anchor Shannon Bream. “Someone gave her bad information, and we need to get to the bottom of who did that and why they did that.”
Lamborn, along with fellow Colorado GOP Rep. Cory Gardner, also signed a letter with 93 other House Republicans opposing Rice as secretary of state.
General David Petraeus, the former head of the CIA, testified Friday before lawmakers that the intelligence community knew rather quickly that the attack had been orchestrated by Al Qaeda affiliates. Petraeus reportedly told members of Congress that the government didn’t release their knowledge of the terrorist connection sooner “to avoid tipping them off,” according to The Washington Post.
“He (Petraeus) showed us that he knew it was a terrorist attack from basically day one. And Susan Rice should have known that,” said Lamborn.
The spotlight on Rice has increased since she has been mentioned as a possible replacement for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“She should not only not ever become secretary of state, I think she should resign… from her current position, as U.N. ambassador. She is not up to the job if she can’t do more homework, if she can’t be more discerning, if she can’t tell what the intelligence community is saying,” Lamborn said. “She should know better.”
Rice intimated at first that the attack was the result of anger over an infamous anti-Islam YouTube video made in America, and said on five talk shows that the incident was an unplanned riot. The president’s administration did not say it was a terrorist attack until Sept. 20.
Rice had been given talking points to be used publicly, but Petraeus said he hadn’t signed off on those, according to CNN. It’s not yet clear who did, and that’s a question lawmakers are still pursuing.