Obama: Vilsack "Jumped the Gun" on Sherrod

Tom Vilsack Shirley Sherrod NCLTN/CBS

President Obama says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack "jumped the gun" when he decided to dismiss a USDA employee accused of racism by a blogger.

Edited video from a speech by Shirley Sherrod was posted on a conservative website and picked up by media outlets. The speech actually turned out be about racial harmony.

Mr. Obama told ABC News in an interview that Vilsack acted in part because the current media climate requires everyone to "scramble" when something goes up on YouTube or a blog. The administration changed course and apologized after the full speech was made available.

Mr. Obama personally apologized to Sherrod by phone today and appealed to her to return to work at the department. The USDA is offering her a different position.

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