Rice met privately with Republican senators on Capitol Hill Tuesday. They have criticized her for saying the deadly U.S. consulate terror attack in Libya sprang from a protest.
Rice now says the talking points she was given were wrong, but that there was no intention to mislead the American people.
"The talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: There was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi," Rice said in a statement after the meeting. "While we certainly wish that we had had perfect information just days after the terrorist attack, as is often the case the intelligence assessment has evolved."
Still, a handful of senators, including John McCain, say they are more troubled than ever by her response.
Despite lingering questions over her comments, Rice is the top candidate on a short list of possible successors to Clinton, with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., seen as her closest competition.
Rice, 48, has been known to covet the job for years, but was passed over for Clinton in 2009.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.