'Not Me': Condoleezza Rice Nixes VP Talk

March 20, 2012 - 7:59 AM

(CNSNews.com) - Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says she prefers policy to politics -- and has no interest in forming a Romney-Rice ticket.

"I think we should go another direction and find somebody who really wants to be in elective office," Rice told “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning. "How many ways can I say it? Not me," she added.

On other topics, Rice said it's important to make it clear to the Iranians that the U.S. will not allow them to get a nuclear weapon. "That means that you have to have a military option that you are prepared to use and that the Iranians know you are prepared to use.  And you can't send mixed signals about that," she said.

"In fact, if the Iranians really do believe that you will use military force -- you might, through diplomacy -- which is very active and I think is actually having some effect -- you might be able to get the Iranians to change course."

But Rice said the message about using force has to be "very strong" and "unequivocal."

Rice, noting that the war on terror continues, said many of the national security and surveillance tools left in place by her former boss, President George w. Bush, have turned out to be essential in protecting America. "It looks a little different when you're in the Oval Office and you have responsibility to actually protect the American people," she said – a reference to President Obama.

On Afghanistan, Rice said there is still work to be done there -- training Afghan security forces, improving Afghan governance, and weakening the Taliban.

Although she would not have set a timeline, Rice said NATO has chosen 2014 for the withdrawal of allied troops. "Let's use that time, not going back and forth about whether or not we're going to accelerate the timetable. The Taliban shouldn’t be able to sit there counting the days on the calendar. Let's do the work that we've got left so that we don't have a continuing safe haven for terrorists in Afghanistan."

On the lighter side, Rice -- a well-known football fan -- said she's happy that Peyton Manning has chosen the Denver Broncos.

“John Elway is a good Stanford man,” said Rice, who has longstanding ties to the university as a current professor and a former provost. “He knows what to do, so we'll trust him to make a decision about Tim Tebow."

Rice called Tebow a "wonderful young man," adding that wherever Tebow goes, "he's going to have a great influence, because he's a quality person."

Rice was in Washington Tuesday to release a report on the U.S. education system.

She and Joel Klein, the former chancellor of New York City's school system, co-chaired a task force that found the nation’s security will be compromised when skilled baby boomers retire – leaving unprepared younger workers in their place.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press, cautions that far too many schools fail to adequately prepare students. "The dominant power of the 21st century will depend on human capital," it said. "The failure to produce that capital will undermine American security."

Klein and Rice say the nation’s public education system must do better, and soon.