Wait, what did he say?
[Soledad] O'Brien asked Heck what he would like to learn from Gen. David Petraeus when he testifies before a congressional hearing on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. She then asked him if he would prevent Ambassador Susan Rice's confirmation if the president attempted to nominate her for secretary of state.
"The fact is you can't put somebody out as the face of the issue on all the Sunday morning talk shows, and then turn around weeks later and say she knew nothing about the incident and had nothing to do with it. That's just plainly wrong," he said.
O'Brien likened the situation with Rice to Condoleezza Rice when she said that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. "If you use that measurement...and then later you determine that the information was wrong, isn't that exactly analogous to what happened with Condoleezza Rice?"
"I don't believe so, because here we had a situation where the information was wrong, not coming back and saying the person had nothing to do with the situation. I mean Condy Rice was in a position to be able to be the face, and the information was wrong. But here we had wrong information, and then weeks later,we have the administration coming back and saying, 'Well this person had nothing to do with the situation,'" Heck said.
O'Brien said she would like to go through his response more slowly. When Heck tried to clarify, O'Brien cut him off and said, "You've lost me completely. Let's back up again. I'm sorry, forgive me. But you've lost me."
The problem here is that John McCain and a few other Republican Senators have been relentlessly attacking UN Ambassador Susan Rice over the Benghazi (Libya) attack. Yet while they're attacking her and threatening to prevent her from becoming the next Secretary of State should President Obama nominate her, they don't actually have facts to back up their claims. Perhaps this is why Heck was so tongue tied on CNN this morning.
Yesterday, McCain cited interviews in which Rice relayed information given to her by intelligence officials after the Benghazi attack and said that the ambassador “should have known better” and is “not qualified.” McCain also said that he will “do everything in my power to block her.” Yesterday, McCain and Graham held a press conference, along with Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), to make similar points.
In reality, McCain and Graham’s comments are inaccurate. David Ignatius of the Washington Post wrote that the CIA report from the day Susan Rice appeared on morning talk shows on Sept. 16 said, “The currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo… There are indications that extremists participated in the violent demonstrations.” The day after her first round of interviews, Rice said that she would wait until an investigation was complete and that “we don’t want to jump to conclusions before then.”
Perhaps this was what Joe Heck had in mind as he was going on CNN this morning. He tried so hard to "Go the Full McCain" in attacking Susan Rice and President Obama, but he just couldn't go the full distance once Soledad O'Brien started asking for more details. It's funny how facts can get in the way of spewing out talking points.
I wonder if this is the only issue that Joe Heck will have to reexamine in the coming weeks.