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

“I’d rather have John KerryJohn KerryChanging America, Part VI: America’s growing education divide Speaker Ryan, the fate of our policy toward Russia rests in your hands Frustrated Dems say Obama botched Russia response 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 Rodham ClintonChanging America, Part VI: America’s growing education divide Dems face identity crisis Chaffetz calls for ,500 legislator housing stipend 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.