NBC: Susan Rice dropping out of consideration - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

NBC: Susan Rice dropping out of consideration for secretary of state

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WASHINGTON -

Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration to be the next secretary of state after the embattled U.N. ambassador ran into a standoff with Republicans over an attack on Americans in Libya.

President Barack Obama, in a statement, said he accepted Rice's decision to remove her name from consideration. Obama decried what he called "unfair and misleading attacks" on Rice in recent weeks.

Rice says she withdrew from consideration for secretary of state because she didn't want to endure confirmation hearings that were "very politicized."

Rice also says she wouldn't have wanted her nomination to have delayed or distracted President Barack Obama from pursuing his second term agenda. Given that possibility, she says she prefers to stay doing a job she loves at the U.N.

Rice has faced withering criticism from some congressional Republicans who have taken issue with her initial statements about the attack on Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Some lawmakers had indicated they would hold up her confirmation hearing if Obama had tapped her for the job.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has suggested that Rice tried to cover up the terrorist attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya as a means to help the president win re-election. Four Americans died in the attack.

Rice spoke in an interview with NBC News.

Also, a person familiar with the deliberations said support has been trending away from Rice for the past few days.

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is perceived internally to be the front-runner for the secretary of state position.

Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel is also seen as the front-runner for Obama's next defense secretary.

The person familiar with the deliberations requested anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations.

See NBC's exclusive report here.

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