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Posted November 16, 2012

House Dem Women Members Hold Press Conference in Defense, Support of Ambassador Susan Rice

Washington, DC, Nov. 16, 2012 – Today, a group of House Democratic women Members, led by Reps. Gwen Moore (WI-4), Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), Karen Bass (CA-33), Eleanor Holmes Norton (Del-District of Columbia) and Terri Sewell (AL-7), held a press conference in support of U.N. Ambassador Susan E. Rice following what they deemed unfair attacks from various Senate and House Republicans.


“The baseless ad hominem attacks on Ambassador Rice by several members of the Senate – most notably Sen. John McCain - calling into question her very character, basic level of intelligence, trustworthiness, and qualifications is not only disingenuous but at odds with the actions and stances they have taken in the past, with other potential nominees,” said Rep. Gwen Moore. “Ambassador Rice is enormously talented, highly educated, and capable, with a depth of experience that makes her a qualified candidate for a variety of high-level positions. These unwarranted attacks only serve to deter other qualified women from seeking similar high profile positions for which they are eminently qualified -and it is our nation that loses.” 


“There is no legitimacy to the notion that Ambassador Rice would deliberately mislead the nation,” said Rep. Karen Bass. “What our Republican colleagues are accusing her of is completely inconsistent with her more than 20 year history as a diplomat. This is clearly petty politics and today we are standing behind Ambassador Rice to highlight her impeccable academic and professional record.”


"Ambassador Rice has carried out her duties with diligence, integrity and skill,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge. “Partisan claims that the Ambassador would intentionally mislead Americans about the unfolding situation in Benghazi are not only baseless but suspect. This highly capable public servant has done nothing to deserve the vicious mischaracterizations of her fitness to serve in any capacity the President believes is appropriate.  I have full confidence in Susan Rice to serve this nation well.  She has earned that confidence, not based on race or gender but on ability."


“One of my committees had a rare hearing in the middle of recess on Benghazi.  Despite the documented intelligence from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, on which Ambassador Susan Rice relied on as the source of her statements, and the testimony of Ambassador Patrick Kennedy that he, too, relied on the same information, Republicans then and Republicans now shun evidence in favor of partisanship,” Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton said.  “Susan Rice is not a part of the problems in Benghazi and should need no defense, but she should get the most vigorous defense from fair-minded colleagues, especially women.”


“I have known Ambassador Rice for over 25 years, long before her political appointments and outside the glare of Washington politics,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “I can personally speak to her integrity, professionalism and character. Ambassador Rice is a brilliant scholar, an outstanding American Diplomat and has served our nation with great honor, dedication and leadership. These recent attempts to discredit and smear the reputation and extraordinary diplomatic work of Ambassador Rice are simply outrageous. To suggest that she would knowingly and purposefully mislead the American people is merely not true. This tragic incident should not be fodder for partisan politics at a time when we should be working together to apprehend the real culprits. Ambassador Rice acted in good faith in reporting what she had been told by CIA intelligence. I am offended that some Republican senators would even suggest that this administration and one of its chief diplomat would be complicitous,” added Sewell.


Yesterday the group released a statement that was co-signed by more than 50 House Members. They included Reps. Gwen Moore (WI-4), Marcia Fudge (OH-11), Karen Bass (CA-33), Eleanor Holmes Norton (Del.-D.C.), Terri Sewell (AL-7), James E. Clyburn (SC-6), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20), Barbara Lee (CA-9), Silvestre Reyes (TX-16), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-11), Adam Smith (WA-9), Frederica S. Wilson (FL-17), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Rick Larsen (WA-2), Steve Cohen (TN-9), Janice D. Schakowsky (IL-9), John Conyers Jr. (MI-14), Brad Sherman (CA-27), Louise Slaughter (NY-28), Betty McCollum (MN-4), Corrine Brown (FL-3), Emanuel Cleaver (MO-5), Bobby L. Rush (IL-1), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Danny K. Davis (IL-7), Hansen Clarke (MI-13), Sanford D. Bishop (GA-2), G.K. Butterfield (NC-1), Elijah Cummings (MD-7), Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30), Charles B. Rangel (NY-15), Cedric L. Richmond (LA-2), David Scott (GA-13), Robert “Bobby” Scott (VA-3), Al Green (TX-9), Keith Ellison (MN-5), Melvin L. Watt (NC-12), Alcee L. Hastings (FL-23), Tim Ryan (OH-17), Donna M. Christensen (Del.- V.I.), Henry “Hank” Johnson (GA-4), Andre Carson (IN-7), Chaka Fattah (PA-2), William Lacy Clay (MO-1), Michael Honda (CA-15), Gregory W. Meeks (NY-6), Doris Matsui (CA-5), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-2), Laura Richardson (CA-37), John Lewis (GA-5), Janice Hahn (CA-36), Donna Edwards (MD-4), and Rush Holt (NJ-12).





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