Blog

FLASHBACK--President Obama on Kamala Harris: ‘She Also Happens to Be, By Far, the Best Looking Attorney General’

By CNSNews.com Staff | December 3, 2020 | 2:21pm EST
President Obama greats Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris at San Francisco International Airport, Feb. 17, 2011. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
President Obama greats Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris at San Francisco International Airport, Feb. 17, 2011. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

At a fundraiser in Atherton, Calif., on April 4, 2013, then-President Barack Obama told the attendees that Kamala Harris, who was then the attorney general of California, was “by far, the best looking attorney general.”

The remarks were reported by local media in the Bay Area, and the next day White House Spokesman Jay Carney said at a press conference that Obama had called Harris to apologize to her for the remarks.

“She’s brilliant. She’s dedicated. She’s tough. She also happens to be by far, the best looking attorney general,” Obama said at the fundraiser, according to KCRA, a television station based in Sacramento.

The next day at a White House press briefing, a reporter asked Carney: “President Obama yesterday called California Attorney General Kamala Harris ‘by far the best looking attorney general.’ It created quite a buzz and an uproar. Some say it highlights what they see as a troubling pattern of a woman’s success being linked to her appearance and that it’s unseemly for the president of the United States to say that. How has he reflected on his comments since making them and has he called Harris?”

Carney responded: “The president did speak with Attorney General Harris last night after he came back from his trip. And he called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments. And, you know, they are old friends and good friends.

“And he did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments and her capabilities, and I would note that he called her in those same comments brilliant, dedicated and tough. And she is all those things,” said Carney.

“She has been a remarkably effective leader as attorney general,” Carney continued.

“And,” Carney said, “he believes and fully recognizes that the challenges—or he fully recognizes the challenges women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance.”

“I think I made clear he apologized for creating this distraction, and believes very strongly that Attorney General Harris is an excellent attorney general and that she’s done great work, and she’s dedicated and tough and brilliant,” said Carney.

Here is a transcript of White House Spokesman Jay Carney’s exchange with a reporter about President Obama calling Kamala Harris “by far, the best looking attorney general:”

Reporter: President Obama yesterday called California Attorney General Kamala Harris ‘by far the best looking attorney general.’ It created quite a buzz and an uproar. Some say it highlights what they see as a troubling pattern of a woman’s success being linked to her appearance and that it’s unseemly for the president of the United States to say that. How has he reflected on his comments since making them and has he called Harris?”

Jay Carney: “The president did speak with Attorney General Harris last night after he came back from his trip. And he called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments. And, you know, they are old friends and good friends, and he did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments and her capabilities, and I would note that he called her in those same comments brilliant, dedicated and tough. And she is all those things. She has been a remarkably effective leader as attorney general. She is a key player in the mortgage settlement, which will help many, many middle-class families who are struggling to deal with the mortgage situation in this country. And he believes and fully recognizes that the challenges—or he fully recognizes the challenges women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance.”

Reporter: “He felt like he messed up with what he said?”

Carney: “Well, look, I think I made clear he apologized for creating this distraction, and believes very strongly that Attorney General Harris is an excellent attorney general and that she’s done great work, and she’s dedicated and tough and brilliant.”

MRC Store