Gardner joins Lamborn, signs letter opposing possible Rice nomination

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DENVER — Two Colorado congressman have signed a letter to the White House stating their opposition to the nomination of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice as Hilary Clinton’s replacement of Secretary of State — even though Clinton has yet to officially resign her post.

Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, and Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, are among 95 House Republicans who signed the letter, mailed to the White House Monday.

During a press conference last week, President Barack Obama passionately defended Rice, who Republicans have attacked for characterizing the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya as a spontaneous response to anti-Islam video.

Last week, former CIA Director David Petraeus told closed congressional hearings that the CIA knew immediately that the attack was terrorism, but withheld that conclusion from the initial administration talking points.

In the letter, Republicans vow to oppose Rice’s nomination as Secretary of State.

“We believe her misleading statements over the days and weeks following the attack on our embassy in Libya that lead to the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans caused irreparable damage to her credibility both at home and around the world,” the letter states.

The letter sent Monday, signed by some of the most conservative House Republicans — Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Rep. Joe Wilson of Texas, Rep. Allen West of Florida and Rep. Steve King of Iowa — is another attempt to preemptively block Rice’s nomination.

Gardner, thought to be a rising star within the House GOP caucus and perhaps the unofficial standard-bearer of the Colorado Republican Party, told FOX31 Denver Monday that his reason for signing the letter is simple.

“She misled the American people, and we need a Secretary of State that will be honest with Americans – especially in the aftermath of terrorist attacks on American citizens,” Gardner said.