President Obama passionately defended U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's record during his first press conference with the White House press pool since wining re-election. In fact, it was the first time he spoke to White House reporters in over eight months.
Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsay Graham both attacked Rice earlier Wednesday morning for her handling of the Benghazi situation. Responding to rumors Rice is being considered for Secretary of State, McCain said he would consider filibustering Rice if the President tried to nominate her.
The President did not take kindly to their posturing. "Let me say specifically about Susan Rice, she has done exemplary work," Obama said. And that's when he really fell on his sword for her:
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. 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.
Besmirch! Invites for attacks! Gosh, the President hasn't been this excited about a question in a while. (Probably because he hasn't answered questions in a while, but we digress.) He was far from done, though. He threatened if McCain and Graham are going after Rice because, "they think she’s an easy target, then they’ve got a problem with me."