The Straits Times
Published on Nov 17, 2012

Women defend Rice over Libya comments


WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican senators' angry criticism of UN Ambassador Susan Rice over her initial account of the deadly Sept. 11 attack in Libya smacks of sexism and racism, a dozen female members of the US House of Representatives said Friday.

In unusually personal terms, the Democratic women lashed out at Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham who earlier this week called Ms Rice unqualified and untrustworthy and promised to scuttle her nomination if US President Barack Obama nominates her to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"All of the things they have disliked about things that have gone on in the administration, they have never called a male unqualified, not bright, not trustworthy," said Representative Ms Marcia Fudge, the next chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. "There is a clear sexism and racism that goes with these comments being made by unfortunately Sen McCain and others."

At a Capitol Hill news conference, the female lawmakers, the majority of them African American like Ms Rice, suggested that the Republicans are bitter about Mr Obama's re-election and taking it out on the UN ambassador.