President Barack Obama has apologized to California Attorney General Kamala Harris for the “good looking” remarks he made at a fundraising event on Thursday.
Barack Obama described Kamala Harris, a long-time friend, as “the best-looking attorney general in the country”.
Kamala Harris’s spokesman said she strongly supported Barack Obama but would not say whether she had accepted his apology.
Critics have cited the remark as an example of the ongoing hurdles women face in the workplace.
Speaking after Kamala Harris at the fundraising event in California on Thursday, Barack Obama said she was “brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough, and she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake”.
Then the president added: “She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country… It’s true. Come on. And she is a great friend and has just been a great supporter for many, many years.”
On Friday, the White House said President Barack Obama had spoken to AG Kamala Harris to apologize for the “distraction” created by his comments.
“He did not want in any way to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments and her capabilities,” press secretary Jay Carney said.
Jay carney added that the president “fully recognizes the challenge women continue to face in the workplace and that they should not be judged based on appearance”.
Writers and bloggers have commented that although Barack Obama is a personal friend of Kamala Harris and a strong supporter of women’s rights, his remarks were inappropriate.