Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who drew heavy criticism from Republicans over her statements after the September attacks on a U.S. diplomatic mission, withdrew her name from consideration for secretary of state on Thursday.
In a letter to President Barack Obama, she said "the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive, and costly -- to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country."
Obama acknowledged her letter in a statement that described her as "an extraordinarily capable, patriotic, and passionate public servant." He will meet with Rice Friday at the White House, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.