President Barack Obama showed true grit.
Obama stood tall behind the podium at the White House Wednesday and defended U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice like a little sister who was being picked on by schoolyard bullies.
The bullies, however, are Republicans.
“If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” Obama said with conviction. “And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous.”
And then, with a firm look from the lectern, the president bristled as he issued a stern warning.
“When they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target,” Obama added, “then they’ve got a problem with me.”
It was Obama’s first news conference since he was re-elected to the White House last week and the president appeared confident and ready to take on a fight with Republicans if necessary.
“She has done exemplary work,” Obama said, in his defense of Rice, the first African American woman to be appointed as U.N. Ambassador. “And should I choose — if I think that she would be the best person to serve America in the capacity — the State Department, then I will nominate her. That’s not a determination that I’ve made yet.”
Obama defended Rice against accusations by Senator John McCain, (R-Arizona) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who have accused Rice of misrepresenting the facts in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, when terrorists killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
The president is considering elevating Rice to Secretary of State, replacing Hillary Clinton who is leaving her post at the end of the year. But Republicans have vowed to block Rice’s appointment, who would need confirmation from Congress to take the job.
So on Wednesday, Obama drew a proverbial line on the sand and has a serious decision to make: Avoid a showdown and back down from McCain and Graham by not nominating Rice, or nominate her and prepare for a prolonged fight with angry congressional Republicans.
Whatever Obama decides, he made it clear to the world that he supports Rice and he won’t let Republicans tarnish her reputation and disrespect the office of the President.
But Graham isn’t backing down.
“Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi,” Graham said in a statement. “I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack.”
“I am dead-set on making sure that we don’t promote anybody who was an essential player in the Benghazi debacle,” Graham told reporters, referring to Rice.
Rice, 47, served as an adviser to Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and was later appointed to represent the United States at U.N. headquarters in New York. Rice said that her parents taught her to “never use race as an excuse or advantage”, and as a young girl she “dreamed of becoming the first U.S. Senator from the District of Columbia”
On Wednesday, Obama protected Rice who has become a flashpoint issue for Republicans who are still stinging from Obama’s decisive victory over Mitt Romney.
Republicans couldn’t oust Obama from the White House during the election, so now they’ll try to derail his high-level appointments and Rice is clearly in the GOP crosshairs.
And since Obama has signaled that he’s not going to let Republicans steamroll a black woman who he considers a friend, the president has set a no-nonsense tone for his next four years in the White House.
In plain talk: Bring it on.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
1 of 31
2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
2 of 31
3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
3 of 31
4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
4 of 31
5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
5 of 31
6 of 31
7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
7 of 31
8 of 31
9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
9 of 31
10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
10 of 31
11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
11 of 31
12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
12 of 31
13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
13 of 31
14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
14 of 31
15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
15 of 31
16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
16 of 31
17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
17 of 31
18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
18 of 31
19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
19 of 31
20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
20 of 31
21. Bae #retailtherapy
21 of 31
22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
22 of 31
23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
23 of 31
24. Diggy Simmons
24 of 31
25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
25 of 31
26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
26 of 31
27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
27 of 31
28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
28 of 31
29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
29 of 31
30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
30 of 31
31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
31 of 31