Kyl: Kerry would be a better pick for secretary of State than Rice

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“I’d rather have John KerryJohn Forbes KerryTrump's dangerous Guantánamo fixation will fuel fire for terrorists Tech beefs up lobbying amid Russia scrutiny Overnight Tech: Senate Dems want FCC chief recused from Sinclair merger | Tech rallies on Capitol Hill for DACA | Facebook beefs up lobbying ranks MORE. I think he’s well-positioned. He’s experienced. I think he’d take the job and he’s not tainted with the kind of things that I think would be a problem for Ambassador Rice,” Kyl said of Kerry, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

Rice sparked a backlash from Republicans after she made a series of television appearances to claim the assault on the U.S. mission on Benghazi, Libya, arose out of a spontaneous protest against an anti-Islam video clip. Rice has said she based her comments on information provided from intelligence agencies at the time. The administration later labeled the attack an act of terrorism.

Kyl said those interviews would likely undermine her chances of succeeding Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Pelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill MORE as secretary of State.

“I think it’s a huge, huge issue for her. Now her defense will be, ‘Well, somebody else told me to say it,’ and that might play. I don’t know,” he told reporters.

Kyl said he does not consider Rice an acceptable nominee, but noted that he will retire from the Senate at the end of the year and will not vote on Clinton’s successor.