President Obama is warning John McCain that if he keeps jabbering on and threatening to block any nomination of Susan Rice, he is going to have a problem with the President of the United States.
QUESTION: Thank you Mr. President. Senator John McCain, and Senator Lindsey Graham both said today that they want to have Watergate-style hearings on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and said that if you nominate Susan Rice to be secretary of State, they will do everything in their power to block her nomination. Senator Graham said, he simply doesn’t trust Ambassador Rice after what she said about Benghazi. I’d like your reaction to that? And — and would those threats deter you from making a nomination like that?
OBAMA: Well first of all I’m not going to comment on various nominations that I’ll put forward to fill out my cabinet for the second term. Those are things that are still being discussed. But let me say specifically about Susan Rice, she has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill, and professionalism, and toughness, and grace. As I’ve said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her.
OBAMA: If Senator McCain and Senator Graham, and others want to go after somebody? They should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi? And was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received? And to besmirch her reputation is outrageous. And, you know, we’re after an election now.
I think it is important for us to find out exactly what happened in Benghazi and I’m happy to cooperate in any ways that Congress wants. We have provided every bit of information that we have and we will continue to provide information. And we’ve got a full-blown investigation, and all that information will be disgorged to Congress.
And I don’t think there’s any debate in this country that when you have four Americans killed, that’s a problem. And we’ve got to get to the bottom of it and there needs to be accountability. We’ve got to bring those who carried it out to justice. They won’t get any debate from me on that.
But when they go after the U.N. ambassador, apparently because they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me. And should I choose, if I think that she would be the best person to serve America in the capacity at the State Department, then I will nominate her. That’s not a determination that I’ve made yet.
Judging from Obama’s answer it is clear that there is a new reelected sheriff in town, and he is not going to put up with anymore of this Republican BS. Obama is done, and if John McCain wants to throw down over Susan Rice, the president is ready. Obama essentially dared McCain and Graham to man up and come after him.
The president knows that McCain and Graham have nothing, and McCain’s promise to block Rice if she is nominated is just the old man trying to jump into the right wing media Benghazi conspiracy theory spotlight. Sarah Jones already covered the laughable hypocrisy of the man who tried to convince the country that Sarah Palin was qualified to be vice president questioning the sterling resume and qualifications of Amb. Rice. But if McCain wants to dance, Obama signaled today that he is more than ready to go.
Since winning reelection, Obama is flexing his political muscles in ways that we haven’t seen before. The president has been emboldened and strengthened by his victory, and he looks ready to take on all challengers. So far, Obama is doing a great job balancing his willingness to compromise, with a don’t screw with me toughness that is certain to give Republicans fits.
This isn’t the Obama of 2010. This is second term Obama, and he isn’t in the mood to play games with those who are looking to score cheap media points, like John McCain.
Here’s a little straight talk for the Arizona senator. Sen. McCain, listen to Obama. This president is ready to kick your butt all over D.C. He already took you to the woodshed once in 2008, and he is not afraid to do it again.
You are not some lowly tea party House member. You are a United States senator, so be smart and back off before Obama has bring the power of the POTUS down on your sorry backside.