Most of Sen John McCain’s opposition to the idea of Susan Rice as Secretary of State comes from her defense of the Obama administration’s response to the attacks in Benghazi. But Rice has criticized McCain repeatedly, especially while serving as Obama’s senior foreign-policy adviser for his 2008 campaign.
Rice, a Clinton administration veteran, became Obama’s senior foreign-policy adviser, after she chose him over Hillary Clinton early in the presidential race. That put Rice squarely in opposition of McCain, each time the war veteran tried to challenge the junior senator’s national security credentials.
“His tendency is to shoot first and ask first questions later, it is dangerous and we can’t afford four more years of this reckless foreign policy,” Susan Rice said to reporters about McCain in August 2008.
When McCain tried to paint Obama as someone who routinely shied away from tough decisions on Iraq, Rice was there to tear down his record.
“On critical, factual questions that are fundamental to understanding what is going on in Iraq and the region, Senator McCain has gotten it wrong and not just once but repeatedly,” said Rice in June 2008.
When McCain tried to go after Obama for his bland response to Russia’s aggressive moves in Georgia in August 2008, Rice again portrayed McCain a dangerous “shoot from the hip” leader.
“We were dealing with the facts as we knew them,” Rice said on MSNBC. “John McCain shot from the hip, very aggressive, belligerent statement. He may or may not have complicated the situation.”
Rice even got personal with McCain when Obama traveled overseas to visit the Middle East.
“I think he wants to get out and do as much as he can Rice said about Obama’s trip. “I don’t think he’ll be strolling around the market in a flak jacket.”
Rice was subtly referring to McCain’s trip to Iraq a year earlier, after he was mocked by liberals for wearing body armor while visiting what looked like a peaceful market in Baghdad.