Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, right, and fellow committee member Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., left, listen as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, saying says he would do all he could to block the nomination of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton because of comments she made after the deadly Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is defending U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice in the aftermath of the deadly Sept. 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Libya and calling Republican criticism of her outrageous.
At a White House news conference Wednesday, Obama pushed back against GOP senators who said they would do whatever is necessary to scuttle Rice's nomination if the president picks her to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The president said if Sen. John McCain wants to go after someone, he should challenge the president, not Rice.
McCain told reporters earlier Wednesday that he would do all he could to block a Rice nomination.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said he didn't trust Rice.