By Justin Sink - 10/01/12 06:03 PM EDT
GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said Monday that he would "let other people speak on" whether U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice should resign, after some of his Republican colleagues in the House called for her to step down.
"We're making these judgments after we have all the facts," Ryan said of the Romney campaign during an interview on the Laura Ingraham Show. "We don't have all of the facts surrounding this particular person, but we do know the administration has been extremely inconsistent, we do know that was a pre-planned terrorist attack, and the point I'm trying to make is we need to get all the facts to prevent it from happening again."
GOP lawmakers questioned that explanation and called on the administration last week to provide more details about the violence at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four American foreign service officers dead. On Friday, the administration said that new information suggested that the assault was a "deliberate and organized terrorist attack."
In his interview with CNN, King said Rice's explanation was "a failure of foreign policy message and leadership" and "a misstatement of facts."
Ryan also blasted Rice's initial explanation in the interview, but repeatedly stopped short of calling for the ambassador's resignation.
"Hey look, I mean, we've seen a confused, slow, inconsistent response to what is now very clearly known as a terrorist attack. To simply conclude right away it was a spontaneous mob is in the face of the facts," Ryan said. "The key is that we get the full story so we can make sure something like this never happens again."
And the Wisconsin lawmaker said Rice's case differed from that of Attorney General Eric Holder, whom he has previously called on to resign. Ryan said that unlike the Justice Department's botched "Fast and Furious" gun-tracking program, the administration response to the violent protests in the Middle East had not been thoroughly investigated.
Democrats have defended Rice from Republican calls for her resignation.
“I’m deeply disturbed by efforts to find the politics instead of finding the facts in this debate,” Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said in a written statement. “I’m particularly troubled by calls for Ambassador Rice’s resignation. She is a remarkable public servant for whom the liberation of the Libyan people has been a personal issue and a public mission. She’s an enormously capable person who has represented us at the United Nations with strength and character.”