NBC’s Andrea Mitchell said Thursday that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s pulling her name from consideration to become secretary of state “is not going to help the Republicans” after “a woman of color has been forced out.”

“I think this had become sort of an impossible challenge for her to be confirmed, that she realized that, the White House realized it as well,” Mitchell said on MSNBC’s “The Cycle.” “I think they know that they are on good, political solid ground, as you were just pointing out. This is not going to help Republicans at all, the fact that a woman and a woman of color has been forced out of a confirmation process even before she was nominated. She clearly was the president’s choice but I think what happened is it became untenable.”

Rice has come under harsh criticism in recent months, particularly from Republicans, over her initial comments calling the deadly terror assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya a response to an anti-Islam video posted online. It was subsequently labeled a terrorist attack.

Mitchell said critics had started looking into other aspects of Rice’s background as well, but she didn’t yet have the benefit of a solid group around her as she would if she were the nominee.

“She was on her own really and left hanging,” Mitchell said.

(h/t Weasel Zippers)