President Barack Obama directed criticism directly toward U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham today for criticizing U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s comments after the Benghazi, Libya, attack.

Obama referred to Graham and his close GOP colleague Sen. John McCain of Arizona as he defended Rice’s description of the fatal 9/11 attack.

Rice is among those believed to be under consideration as Obama’s new Secretary of State to replace the outgoing Secretary Hillary Clinton.

“If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after someone, they should go after me,” Obama said. “I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”

Graham said hours before that he was “dead set” against promoting anyone who was an essential player in the Benghazi incident.

“How could she say five days later definitively there was no evidence of an Al Qaeda attack when there’s a ream of evidence?” Graham said.

Read more in upcoming editions of The Post and Courier.