Obama calls California attorney general to apologize for comment

WASHINGTON Fri Apr 5, 2013 5:05pm EDT

California Attorney General Kamala Harris addresses the second session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina September 5, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

California Attorney General Kamala Harris addresses the second session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina September 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama called California Attorney General Kamala Harris Thursday night to apologize for calling her "by far the best-looking attorney general in the country" during a fundraising trip, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

"They are old friends, and good friends, and he did not in any way want to diminish the attorney general's accomplishments and capabilities," Carney said.

Commentators from both sides of the aisle had objected to Obama's statement, which came during his remarks at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on Thursday in Atherton, California.

At the fundraiser, Obama referred to Harris as "brilliant," "dedicated," "tough," and "exactly what you'd want in anybody who is administering the law" before referring to her appearance.

Carney said Obama apologized for creating the distraction.

"He fully recognizes the challenges women continue to face in the workplace, and that they should not be judged based on appearance," Carney said.

Harris recently gained prominence due to her role in orchestrating a $25 billion settlement between states and banks over illegal shortcuts in foreclosures. Carney said Obama believes Harris did an "excellent job" on the issue.

(Reporting by Gabriel Debenedetti; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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Comments (5)
PingTway wrote:
Further confirmation of the stereotypes.

Apr 05, 2013 3:30pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
gee.la wrote:
Mind problem.

Apr 05, 2013 8:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
WiseOldElf wrote:
Call me old fashioned, but I sense the President meant to compliment Madame Harris with his remarks. Now I don’t get it, is it now wrong/ chauvnistic/ sexist to say a woman is beautiful or good looking? What’s the world come to? Why are we dehumanising ourselves? I guess the upshot for me is to simply ignore every lady apart from my wife and daughter. Just see them as other individuals whom I share the planet with. How sad. Like I said, call me old fashioned, but this new order of things is so not cool.

Apr 05, 2013 8:57pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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