Albright defends Rice, says she would have been 'great' secretary of State

"I think it was very political and sad and I think does not speak well for those who attacked her. I've known Susan since she was 4 years old. I think she's a remarkable person who has served our country in a number of different posts. She was assistant secretary for Africa when I was secretary of State.

"I think she's done and amazing job at the United Nations, making very clear what American national interests are, and I think she would have been a great secretary of state," said Albright on CBS' "This Morning."

Rice withdrew her name from consideration to succeed Hillary Clinton as secretary of State on Thursday. President Obama reportedly did not try to talk her out of the decision to withdraw, backing down from a confirmation fight that he had seemed intent on fighting with the Senate GOP. 

Republicans have accused Rice of misleading the public during appearances on Sunday talk shows where she discussed the violent attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that led to the death of the U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11.

Albright, who served under President Clinton as the first woman to hold the top diplomat position, lamented the loss of Rice as a contender for secretary of State. 

"I'm really sorry that this has happened, because she would have been great and she is wonderful and she doesn't deserve, as a human being, she does not deserve the attacks that were made upon her that were false. It was really outrageous," Albright said. 

Rice said that she wanted to avoid what was bound to be a "disruptive" nomination process in a letter to Obama.

“If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly — to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities,” Rice wrote. “That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country.”