The Ticket

Rangel: White House’s lack of diversity ‘embarrassing as hell’

The Ticket


Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York piled on Thursday as the White House faced criticism for a lack of diversity.

"It's as embarrassing as hell," Rangel, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus, said on MSNBC's "Jansing & Co.," after noting his concern for President Barack Obama's "record" on whom he chooses as advisers. "We've been through all this with Mitt Romney—and we were very hard on Mitt Romney with the women binder and a variety of things. I kind of think there's no excuse when it's the second term."

The White House has faced criticism in recent days for a lack of diversity after the president consecutively picked four white men for top posts: John Kerry for secretary of state, Chuck Hagel for secretary of defense, John Brennan for CIA director and Jack Lew for treasury secretary. Those picks, combined with a recent New York Times story highlighting the president's "all-male" inner circle and other reports suggesting a lack of diversity, have driven criticism.

The White House rejects those accusations.

"Women are well represented in senior staff," White House press secretary Jay Carney said at Wednesday's press briefing when asked about diversity. Carney noted the female White House counsel, female secretaries of homeland security and health and human services, and female Supreme Court appointees as well as the diversity of White House staffers. "These stories are in reaction to a couple of appointments" and don't represent the full picture, Carney said.

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