POLITICS

Sarah Palin: Susan Rice Attacks Aren't Racist, Sexist

12/01/2012 02:09 pm ET

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R) said the criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice over the September 11 attack in Benghazi, Libya has nothing to do with racism or sexism.

"What the heck does this have to do with gender, or skin color, or anything else? This has to do with competency, and Susan Rice's handling of Libya has been part and parcel of the Obama Administration's handling of Libya, which has been appalling," Palin said Friday on "On the Record" with Greta Van Susteren. "It's been atrocious, and it's really indicative of a lack of competency and truthfulness, and certainly transparency, in the entire Obama Administration. It has nothing to do with her gender."

Rice, considered to be a top candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, has battled critics since the Benghazi attacks, especially Republican Senators John McCain (Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) After meeting with Rice about the attack, Graham said he was even "more disturbed" about Rice's explanation of the incident.

"Bottom line, I'm more disturbed now than I was before that the 16th of September explanation about how Americans died in Benghazi, Libya, by Ambassador Rice I think does not do justice to the reality at the time and, in hindsight, clearly was completely wrong," Graham said.

Some Republicans are coming to Rice's defense, including former U.S. ambassador to China and former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman.

"When you're in a wartime setting and you have an attack like that -- let's face it. No one is prepared for an attack like that. There is, as Robert McNamara used to say, there is a fog of war. And it takes awhile to sort through the details," Huntsman told The Huffington Post's Sam Stein. "And it doesn't do a whole lot of good for the political class to point fingers before you even know what was behind it. And you're not going to know that [immediately]."

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