Rice Drops Bid for Secretary of State, Citing Opposition

Washington – Susan E. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, has withdrawn her name from consideration for secretary of state, in the face of relentless opposition from Republicans in Congress over her role in the aftermath of the deadly attack on the American Mission in Benghazi, Libya.

In a letter to President Obama, Ms. Rice said she concluded that “the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly — to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. The tradeoff is simply not worth it to our country.”

Mr. Obama, who spoke with Ms. Rice on Thursday, said he accepted her request with regret, describing her as “an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant.”

“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,” Mr. Obama said in a statement.

The president had steadfastly defended Ms. Rice from attacks that she misled the American public in televised appearances after the attack in Benghazi, which killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. And until Thursday, Mr. Obama seemed ready to face down Ms. Rice’s critics on Capitol Hill.