TPM helpfully provides the quote:
"If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham want to go after somebody, they should go after me," Obama told reporters at the White House. "I'm happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador? Who had nothing to do with Benghazi? To besmirch her reputation? It's outrageous."That's right, Republicans. THE PRESIDENT is speaking. The President is not going to let the Republicans turn Benghazi into a scandal where none exists, and he is definitely not going to let them turn an honorable public servant into a political pinata.
He further added that if the senators are going after Rice "because they think she's an easy target," "[t]hen they've got a problem with me."
Republicans just never learn. Trying to politicize Benghazi blew up in their faces not once but twice during the campaign. First, when Mitt Romney released a premature statement attacking the United States while our embassy (and thus, our country) was still under attack. It's a choice that Mitt Romney regretted, but could not take back thanks to his wingnut base.
So because of the hatred his base had for the president, he doubled down on it, and immersed himself into the right wing media bubble. It blew up in his face a second time during the second presidential debate, when he tried to box the president in about whether or not he had referred to the attacks in Benghazi as an act of terror on the day after the attack (fact check: the president did). In that debate, the president also made clear that he wouldn't tolerate accusations of playing politics against public servants.
But apparently, Republicans haven't had enough. They're back for more. And the President is hitting them right back. This isn't a game. And this president isn't about to put up with people who want to turn this into one. If McCain and Graham think that they can mess with this man on national security, they are still in dreamland. This President will eat them for lunch, and then spit them out.