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Rice: I wanted to avoid 'politicized' hearings

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December 13, 2012 05:30 PM EST | AP

WASHINGTON — U.N. Ambassador Susan 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.

Rice spoke in an interview with NBC News.