President Obama Backs Secret Service, Rejects Black Caucus Criticism

"I could not have more confidence in the Secret Service," President Obama said this morning in a newspaper interview , his first public comments on Gate-crash-gate.

The president said "the system didn't work the way it was supposed to" but was full of compliments for the U.S. Secret Service.

"They do an outstanding job,” the president said. “They have been with me since I was a candidate. I trust them 100%, not just with me but with my wife and my children."

The president made his comments in a joint interview with Richard Wolf of USA TODAY and Justin Hyde of the Detroit Free Press in stories to publish Friday.

The president also rejected criticism from members of the Congressional Black Caucus that his administration was turning a deaf ear to the struggles of minorities, who have been disproportionately hurt by the recession.

Ten members of the CBC, to which the president once belonged, boycotted a key vote on financial reform legislation in the House Financial Services Committee yesterday after failing to arrive at an agreement with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel on a variety of issues that CBC members think the Obama administration is ignoring, including employment in urban areas.

CBC member Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said the 43 members of the organization could join with the House GOP to sandbag Democratic bills if need be.

“I think that it is important for us to educate those people around [Obama],” Waters said. “We’ve got to get his people educated and moving. We have not brought these issues to him personally — it is important first to educate those people around him so they understand.”

Waters said “there are those who choose not to speak about African-Americans or the working class. We can no longer be in denial that certain sectors of our population, including the African-American community, are feeling the recession to a greater extent.”

But President Obama told Wolf and Hyde that “the most important thing I can do for the African-American community is the same thing I can do for the American community, period, and that is get the economy going again and get people hiring again."

"I think it's a mistake to start thinking in terms of particular ethnic segments of the United States rather than to think that we are all in this together and we are all going to get out of this together," he said.


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