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Calif. Women’s Organization: ‘President Displayed Great Leadership By Apologizing’

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – President Obama is in a very unfamiliar position, apologizing for what he said about California Attorney General Kamala Harris.

The president called Harris “the best looking attorney general in the country.” But, are the president’s comments really offensive or are people overreacting?

People are talking about it on many of the network shows and on the Internet. And after all the attention it’s received, the president personally called her to apologize.

“He called her to apologize for the distraction made by his comments, and they are old friends and good friends, and he did not want — in any way — to diminish the attorney general’s professional accomplishments,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

The president made the comments at a private fundraiser in the Bay Area earlier this week, but was it offensive?

“As a woman I wouldn’t like that to be listed in my qualifications as the first thing that comes to mind,” Sacramento resident Whitney Staniford said.

“I have no problem with him saying that at all, it’s a compliment,” Sacramento resident Caryn Olson said.

“It really is not appropriate,” said Patricia Bellasalma, California National Organization for Women.

The organization says the president displayed great leadership by apologizing, but says it shows there’s still a cultural gap.

“We need to be working every single day to institutionalize gender equality in women and girls and empowerment, and we are not there yet,” said Bellasalma.

Harris’ office released a statement saying: “The attorney general and the president have been friends for many years. They had a great conversation yesterday and she strongly supports him.”

But do voters support what he said? That’s a question attracting a number of answers.

“It’s good that he apologized because he may have offended some people, but I don’t think it was his intent to offend anybody,” said Juan-Paulo Varela of Sacramento.

“I think people are too uptight,” said Zac Jeckell.

Now the president also said he fully recognizes the challenges women face in the work place and that no one should be judged on appearance.

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