In a new interview with National Journal, retiring Sen. Joe Liebermann (I-Conn.) said that comments U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice made on Sunday news shows in September wouldn’t factor into his vote if she were nominated for secretary of state.

NJ Could Rice be confirmed by the Senate as secretary of State?

Lieberman I don’t think Ambassador Rice should be criticized or punished in any way for what she said. Whether she’s nominated for something or not, that’s the president’s decision, and I won’t be here to vote for her or against her. But if I were here, I wouldn’t vote against her because of those Sunday-morning TV appearances. I think that would be unfair.

After Sep. 11 attacks on a U.S. embassy in Libya, Rice received intense criticism, mostly from Republicans, for saying on several Sunday news programs that the attacks were the result of a YouTube video.

The Obama administration has defended rice on the grounds that she was simply repeating what she was instructed to say.

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