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Obama apologizes to Kamala Harris for compliment

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has apologized to California Attorney General Kamala Harris for complimenting her looks during a fundraiser earlier this week, his spokesman said.

During a Democratic fundraiser in Northern California on Thursday, Obama referred to Harris as "the best-looking attorney general," drawing laughs from the crowds but later creating a stir among critics.

A few hours after the event, Obama called Harris to say he was sorry for creating a distraction, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday.

Carney pointed out that Obama also had talked about Harris' effectiveness as an attorney general.

Still, Carney said, Obama "fully recognizes the challenges women continue to face in the workplace" and believes that they "should not be judged by their appearance."

There has been no word of an apology to Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) after Obama also singled him out at the Atherton event.

"He's not a real tall guy," Obama said, "but he's a great guy."

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