By AVERI HARPER, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — In an interview with the hosts of ABC’s The View, Susan Rice, former national security adviser to Barack Obama, blamed President Donald Trump for the surging number of deaths related to COVID-19.
“The fault here, the tragic loss of 150,000 Americans and counting, is on Donald Trump and his gross mishandling of this pandemic,” she told the hosts.
During the interview, she confirmed that she is under consideration to be Joe Biden’s running mate.
“I am apparently among those that are being considered for this important role,” Rice said.
On Tuesday, Biden told reporters he would have a selection during the first week of August and that he is “trying to figure out” how to meet with contenders in person before he makes his choice.
Rice has foreign policy experience that spans decades, not only as a national security adviser, widely considered one of the toughest jobs in government, but also as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She also served on the National Security Council under former president Bill Clinton and as assistant secretary of state for African Affairs within the State Department.
Some Democrats worry selecting Rice for the number two spot could resurrect Republican criticism on the handling of the terror attack at the U.S consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Following the 2012 attack, Rice, based on intelligence she had at the time, went on several Sunday political television shows and said that the attack was “spontaneous” following protests in the area. The Obama administration later determined it was a premeditated attack.
Congressional investigations, many by Republican-led committees, concluded Rice did not mislead the public with those initial statements. Despite that, some Republicans continued to attack her. Earlier this month, in an interview with Fox News, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Rice of “going on Sunday shows and lying.”
Biden’s campaign is reportedly vetting, among others, Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, along with Reps. Val Demings of Florida and Karen Bass of California. He’s under increasing pressure to pick a woman of color.
In comparison to many of the women thought to be under consideration, most have held elected office. Rice has not.
If she were to be selected, it would be unprecedented — she’d be the first African American woman on a major party ticket in November.
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