Pressure had been building on ambassador Susan Rice after she admitted releasing incorrect information following the September 11 attack on the American consulate in Libya.
The attack left four Americans dead, including the Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.
Rice initially said the attack had followed protests over an anti-Islamic film, but later intelligence reports suggested a possible al-Qaeda connection.
Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, admitted her mistake in late November, but several Republican senators said questions remained unanswered.
After Rice pulled out of the running to become Secretary of State today, Republicans vowed to continue "seeking the facts" about Benghazi.
Two Republican senators who were heavily critical and opposed Rice’s potential nomination as US Secretary of State have commented on her decision to quit the race:
– Senator Lindsey Graham
I respect Ambassador Rice's decision.
President Obama has many talented people to choose from to serve as our next Secretary of State.
When it comes to Benghazi I am determined to find out what happened - before, during, and after the attack.
Unfortunately, the White House and other agencies are stonewalling when it comes to providing the relevant information.
I find this unacceptable.
The story of Benghazi is a story of national security failure and we must work to prevent it from ever happening again.
– Senator John McCain's office
Senator McCain thanks Ambassador Rice for her service to the country and wishes her well.
He will continue to seek all the facts about what happened before, during and after the attack on our consulate in Benghazi that killed four brave Americans.
As Susan Rice withdraws her name, the way is now open for Senator John Kerry to "report for duty" as America's next Secretary of State.
– President Obama
Today, I spoke to Ambassador Susan Rice, and accepted her decision to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State.
I am grateful that Susan will continue to serve as our Ambassador at the United Nations and a key member of my cabinet and national security team, carrying her work forward on all of these and other issues.
I have every confidence that Susan has limitless capability to serve our country now and in the years to come, and know that I will continue to rely on her as an advisor and friend.
– President Obama
While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first.
The CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller has reaction from President Obama to Susan Rice's withdrawal from the race to be the next US Secretary of State:
Pres Obama says he accepts Susan Rice's decision "to remove her name from consideration for Secretary of State."
Rice was criticized for misleading America about the attack in Benghazi that claimed four US lives including Amb. Chris Stevens.
The US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice has told NBC News she is withdrawing from the race to succeed Hillary Clinton as US Secretary of State.
The US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, has tweeted her expectations that the United Nations must act on its condemnation of North Korea for its rocket launch:
#UNSC condemned yesterday's missile launch, no matter how North Korea chooses to characterize it, as a violation of two UNSC resolutions.
Security Council must work concertedly to deliver a clear message to Pyongyang: violating #UNSC resolutions has consequences.