July 20th, 2008
03:29 PM ET
10 years ago

Rice mum on presidential pick

Rice says she has no interest in being vice president.

Rice says she has no interest in being vice president.

(CNN) - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she knows who she’s voting for in the presidential election, but she’s keeping quiet about her pick.

“Have you decided who to vote for?” CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked in an interview that aired Sunday on “Late Edition.”

“Wolf, uh, yes,” Rice said.

Asked if she wanted to share her decision, Rice simply responded, “No.”

In the wide-ranging interview, Rice praised Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign and said having him as the Democratic presidential nominee has been “great for our country.”

“I do think it says that we've come a long way,” she said when asked to respond to comments from her predecessor Colin Powell, who congratulated Obama for knocking down barriers for African Americans.

“It's interesting that it's from Colin Powell. He knocked down a few barriers of his own. He knocked down the barrier of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He knocked down the barrier to the first black Secretary of State.

“Yes, I've knocked down a few too. It just shows that our country has been doing this for a while, and it's great that this last barrier, perhaps, has also come down.”

Rice also made clear that she has no desire to be vice president.

Rumors of a John McCain-Rice ticket were prevalent in April after Dan Senor, a leading Republican strategist, suggested that she was mounting a behind-the-scenes campaign to be McCain's No. 2

“I tell everybody who will listen … look, I’ve done my part, and I’ve got six months to sprint to the finish, and then I have other things that I want to do,” she said.

Following the end of her term, Rice said she wants to write a book about American foreign policy.

“There are issues that have come to concern me greatly - some that I was concerned about before I came here, like the state of education in the United States - which I think is at the root of our competitiveness. It's at the root of our confidence, and therefore it's at the root of our international leadership,” she said.

“I'll go back and work on issues like that and it will be time for somebody else to take the stage.”

soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    I suspect that many millions of Americans, like me, do not care who this war criminal is voting for, as we remember that she and Colin Powell were instrumental in deceiving America into supporting the immoral and illegal (and failed) attack and attempted conquest of Iraq. They have both damaged America AND the perception of blacks in our government ad owe all of us a profound apology....followed by trial for war crimes.

    July 20, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  2. Rise America Rise

    Well, I doubt she will be voting for McBush. What does it say when even she sees America going in the wrong direction and wants change? I guess other than the PUMAs the whole country will be jumping on the bandwagon between now and November.

    July 20, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  3. Brandon

    -Rice (& maybe even Powell) intend to vote for Obama.
    -Obama is ahead in every single poll, sometimes with double-digit leads.
    -The Prime Minister of Iraq backs Obama.
    -McCain's best month raises less than half the money than Obama.
    -Obama merchandise outsells McCain merchandise by 5 to 1.
    -Larry Hunter, conservative co-author of the "Contract with America", endorses Obama.

    What's next? Will Fred Thompson endorse Obama next week?
    This is getting better & better.

    July 20, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Andrew

    God Help Us if Rice is picked. Do we really need another big oil/big corportation person in the White House? Can you IMAGINE what kind of wars we'd get into if BOTH McCain and Rice were in the White House? WOW.

    July 20, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. Deb

    Condi, you are a great woman, and a great inspiration. I do not blame you. I think you should go and have FUN. Good Luck Condi to the finish line.

    Rice is okay

    July 20, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  6. Pat Va

    Does anyone even CARE what this woman thinks...she's a non-entity, at this point...irrelevant and by all measures one of the worst Secretaries of State in recent memory. She hitched her wagon to a "failing" star (Bush). Moving on!

    July 20, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. tr

    Of course she is voting for Sen Obama, if she was voting for McSame she would be announcing that or saying "Of course I am voting for the republician McSame".....She can join Colin Powell and many other republicians voting for the ONLY candidate that has the correct judgement – Sen Obama

    July 20, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. Greg from Big Island

    She'll probably vote for Rob Barr. He is the most conservative running for president. I couldn't see her voting for Obama or McCain. Then again maybe McCain because Rice is a traditional Republican. As a black woman she give her propts to Obama, she knows better to.

    July 20, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  9. Paul

    I smell another closet Obamacon!

    July 20, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  10. Barbara

    Well now, Rice as VP of what?? She hasn't done anything in her "job" now except to look adoringly at Bush. She is a joke overseas and I don't know many Republicans who would go around saying they would be pleased or agree to having her as a running mate for anyone except, well maybe, Jeb Bush. Now there is a real laugher.

    July 20, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Hillary got screwed

    Is she a Republican or an African American on Election day? Or willl she write in Hillary and be a woman. So complicated, but I must know or else I can't sleep.

    July 20, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |

    She is a scary person. Look at her face ... the meanness radiates from her like a barbed wire fence.

    July 20, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Emma A.

    This entry is very interesting, and yet annoying all the same.

    I love the way Rice handled herself during this interview, especially after being put on the spot. I am African American, and I am Democrat. And I find it so incredibly annoying that Wolf [who I do love] would ask her who she was voting for. Yes, Rice is African American, but that doesn't mean she's voting for Obama. She is a Republican... she's held Republican views for years so I highly doubt that she'd change her views just because an African American was running for office. And if she did, who's business is it anyway?

    Seriously, if this were someone else, the question of who they were voting for in the election would not even come up.

    Way to be divisive.

    July 20, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. TC

    I believe that the change – post Secretary of State – for Ms. Rice might allow some insightful, less politicized perspectives to come forth. She's a loyalist, true, but her concern for the American condition, the foundational aspects of our progress, education, and our immediate policy future, makes her voice quite valuable. And Ms. Rice knows that she's already inspired a thousand lights.

    July 20, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  15. Florida for Obama

    Of course she isn't going to mention that she is voting for Barack seeing that she is still in the Bush administration.

    July 20, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  16. Anonymous


    I think Mc Cain should stop his business of criticising Obama on different issues, citing the recent visit and Obama's foreign policy. What he must realise is that does not make him look good. He looks very bad acually. I predict that if he goes on this way, the opinion polls will really tilt towards Obama even up to 65%:35% in favour of Obama.
    I am a staunch Repubican supporter because of the convictions and the core values of the Republican party. However at the pace Mc Cain is going, he risks marginalising the Republican Party to the back bench and i do not like that at all. Why doe he not focus on his program and try to convince the American electrolate and the world that he has the guts to raise the Republican hopes of survival for another 4 year term, and if Republicans lose, then it should be so honoroubly.
    At this point I would like to congratulate senetor Obama for having broken the last barrier in the American and Indeed world politics. I think the UK had better brace up for such shocks. As a black man myself, it gives me pride to realise that its time for black people around the world to wake and take not that after all these years of being relegated to the peripherals, we can bounce back into the lime light of world politics, and why not because this world has become simply one global village.It is a good mixture of pinckish, chokolate, reddish, yellowish, and others colors, because I have never seen a black or white man anyway.

    Chris Daza, GERMANY

    July 20, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. Remy

    She belong to a Bush backed OIL buisiness. Now She feels she will be a NO person of interest in USA. I hope She try to join Obama camp to make life happy!

    July 20, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. James

    Condi is so very, very intelligent. It is incredible that she chose to link up with Bush. Somehow, she took an incredulous path that has hampered her talents as head of State Department.


    July 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. K of TX

    I sincerely hope Condi Rice has a chance to repair her reputation that the Bush administration has sullied. I believe her to be a person of great talent and intelligence.

    Obama '08, '12

    July 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Ed

    Lovely lady! I just didn't like her stand on the war in iraq. But a real lovely lady!

    July 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Franky

    She's gonna vote for McCain. I mean, she has to! Plus, why not say it?? Is not like is a big announcement...

    July 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. Michelle

    Each American's vote is very sacred and private.

    "Obama's Forgotten People" : Excellent video on YouTube

    July 20, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  23. Open Your 3rd Eye

    I still wonder if she is a member of the Illuminati neocons? Or is she just another puppet like her lil' boss Bush? Anyone care to have THAT conversation? Or are we still asleep, believing that organization doesn't exist?


    July 20, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. Harry C

    I wonder does Rice truely believe in some of the positions she has mentioned over her tenure or does she lose sleep over what she has had to say for this Idiot President!?

    July 20, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  25. Pam, WI

    I would not tell if I were here either. If she picks McCain – she will be blasted for again being on the wrong side politically and if she picks Obama – people will say she is only doing it because he is Black. She is in a no win situation.

    July 20, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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