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November 29th, 2012
11:01 AM ET

Rep. Schiff: Susan Rice controversy 'a continuation of the presidential campaign by other means'

Senior Member of the Intelligence Committee Rep. Adam Schiff published an op-ed in "Roll Call" this morning arguing that lawmakers have "lost sight of the vital objective" of the Benghazi consulate attack investigation in the "blur of partisan wrangling over 'talking points.'"

Rep. Schiff elaborates on his position on Starting Point this morning, saying that he thinks it's "unfair and unjustified to go after U.N. Ambassador [Susan Rice] for not asking deeper questions or probing the intelligence that was given to her by the CIA."

"Let's not forget that the director of the CIA himself at the time, as well as the director of National Intelligence, the top intelligence officials of the nation, both believed that when [Rice] went on the talk shows that the attack began as a protest," Schiff says. "I have to think this is unfortunately a continuation of the presidential campaign by other means.  The election has taken place. Many of the same senators who spoke loudly of President Bush's right to appoint the cabinet of his choice should remember those positions and not apply a different standard to a Democratic president."

Rep. Schiff also weighs in on the fiscal cliff negotiations and calls by the GOP to reform entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

"I don't think we should make structural changes to Medicare for the reason that Medicare isn't responsible for our current deficit and debts," Schiff says. "Medicare and Social Security need to be dealt with, but I don't agree with connecting those to the deficit and debt problem that wasn't created by those programs."

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