12/09/2012 12:37 pm ET Updated Dec 09, 2012

Dick Durbin: Susan Rice Would Win Senate Confirmation As Secretary Of State (VIDEO)

WASHINGTON -- At least one top Democrat thinks the Senate would approve U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as the next Secretary of State if she were nominated by President Barack Obama.

During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was asked if at least some Republicans would ultimately vote in favor of Rice if she were put forward to replace departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"I do believe so," Durbin said.

Durbin referred to Rice as an "extraordinary person" and said "some of the criticisms against her have been unwarranted."

Some Republicans -- namely, Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) -- have slammed Rice over her assessment of the September attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, suggesting she purposely toned down the nature of the attack to help Obama's re-election chances. There have been signs that Republicans are softening their attacks, however.

Obama hasn't given a definitive answer on who he plans to nominate for Secretary of State but has defended Rice amid all of the criticism, calling her "extraordinary."



Secretaries Of State