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Rice pulls out of Secretary of State race

5:23 PM, Dec 13, 2012   |    comments
Spencer Platt, Getty Images U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice leaves a General Assembly vote on Nov. 29.
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by David Jackson, USA TODAY


Susan Rice withdrew from consideration for the Secretary of State job on Thursday, citing Republican criticism of her record.

"If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly -- to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities," Rice said in a letter to Obama.

In a statement, Obama praised Rice, while criticizing the "unfair and misleading attacks" on her by Republicans.

"Her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first," Obama said.

From Obama:

"Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State. For two decades, Susan has proven to be an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant.

"As my Ambassador to the United Nations, she plays an indispensable role in advancing America's interests. Already, she has secured international support for sanctions against Iran and North Korea, worked to protect the people of Libya, helped achieve an independent South Sudan, stood up for Israel's security and legitimacy, and served as an advocate for UN reform and the human rights of all people.

"I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues. I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend.

"While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first. The American people can be proud to have a public servant of her caliber and character representing our country."

Copyright 2012 USATODAY.com

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