Dickerson: Obama's diversity headache his own fault
(CBS News) President Obama, who has come under fire for an alleged lack of diversity in his nominations, may simply be reaping what his campaign sowed, CBS News Political Director John Dickerson said on "CBS This Morning" Friday.
"If the president is being judged quickly on race and gender issues, it may be because he taught people to do that," Dickerson said. "In his campaign there was not a race or gender issue that the Obama campaign didn't jump on when it came to Mitt Romney and the Republicans, and so now he's feeling a little bit of that heat himself."
"This criticism is 'Look, Mr. President, you won your election based on the votes of women and minorities, so you should respect that in your naming of the cabinet picks," Dickerson explained.
But the president's advisers, Dickerson said, have pushed back on the criticism as unfair and unfounded, pointing out, "His closest and most trusted adviser is an African American woman" and adding that, "More women work at the White House than men" as evidence that the president has placed a premium on staffing diversity.
Dickerson also discussed the White House's emerging gun control agenda and argued that background checks, not the assault weapons ban, may be the best barometer of success.
"The assault weapons ban, which a lot of people talked about in the wake of Newtown...that may not be the sign of success," Dickerson argued. "Lots of gun control advocates say the most important thing is these background checks."
Vice President Biden, who has convened a task force charged with generating actionable policy ideas to reduce gun violence, is examining a proposal that would require universal background checks for all gun purchases.
"The Biden group is moving very quickly," Dickerson said, "and the question now is, 'What's the president going to do? How big of a platform is he going to make the State of the Union where he will talk about this?'"
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