The partisan political divide over the potential nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be secretary of state is intensifying.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Republican senators say they're deeply concerned over Rice's statements about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya and they're questioning her motives.

Democrats see no reason the statements should disqualify her if she's nominated.

Republicans Kelly Ayotte and Lindsey Graham say Rice's initial account of the attack went beyond talking points that intelligence agencies gave her.

Graham says her explanation was designed to help Obama get re-elected.

But Democrats Mark Warner and Claire McCaskill say the criticism is unfair.

Ayotte and Warner were on CNN's "State of the Union." McCaskill spoke on NBC's "Meet the Press" and Graham appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation."

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