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January 14, 2013

Obama defends his administration's diversity record

The White House in recent weeks has fended off criticism that President Obama has only picked white men for his top Cabinet positions and President Obama Monday warned against a "rush to judgement."

Asked at a press conference about the diversity of his team, Obama said he was "very proud" that in his first term he had "as diverse, if not a more diverse," White House and a cabinet than any in history and that he intended to continue.

He noted that his foreign policy was led by a woman; the people in charge of his health care initiative were women, along with his Homeland Security chief. His two Supreme Court appointments are female and he said 50 percent of his White House staff were women.

"So, I think people should expect that, that record will be built on during the next four years," he said. "I would just suggest that everybody kind of wait until they've seen all my appointment, who is in the White House staff and who is in my cabinet, before they rush to judgment."

He said he's only made four picks, and said, "I think until you've seen what my overall team looks like, it's premature to assume that somehow we're going backwards. We're not going backwards, we're going forward."


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"Planet Washington" covers politics and government. It is written by journalists in McClatchy's Washington Bureau.

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