White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that “diversity is important,” but defended President Obama from the suggestion that he isn’t appointing enough women to his cabinet by noting that expertise is the most important factor.
“The President does believe that diversity is very important and he also believes that picking the absolute right person for each job is very important,” Carney told CNN’s Brianna Keilar during the White House press briefing. “And the nominees he announced today represent that principle in that he believes Senator Hagel and John Brennan are the right individuals for the jobs to which they have been nominated.”
Carney listed women serving in the administration, such as the departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
“And [Obama], in that process, insists on diversity on the lists that he considers for the job because he believes that in casting a broader net, you increase the excellence of the pool of potential nominees for these positions,” Carney continued. “But in the end, he’ll make the choice that he believes is best for the United States. In this case, that would be Secretary Hagel — or Senator Hagel for Secretary of Defense and John Brennan for Director of the CIA.”
Obama has decided to replace Clinton with Sen. John Kerry, R-Mass.