Obama powwows with civil rights leaders

President Obama huddled with top civil rights leaders at the White House on Wednesday, hours after his party lost control of the Senate. 

The meeting included a discussion of ObamaCare implementation, education and criminal justice issues, according to a White House official. 

{mosads}”The president also highlighted how we are looking forward to working with the leaders over the next two years to advance these and other critical issues facing the country,” the official said. 

Attendees at the meeting included NAACP President Cornell Brooks, National Urban League President Marc Morial and Rev. Al Sharpton. 

An interview between Obama and Sharpton made waves in the final weeks of the campaign, prompting consternation from some vulnerable Democrats. During the interview, Sharpton asked Obama about members of his party who were seeking distance on the campaign trail. 

“So some of the candidates there — it is difficult for them to have me in the state because the Republicans will use that to try to fan Republican turnout,” Obama said. 

“The bottom line is though, these are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress; they are on the right side of minimum wage; they are on the right side of fair pay; they are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure; they’re on the right side of early childhood education.”

Other civil rights leaders in the meeting included National Coalition on Black Civic Participation President Melanie Campbell, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights President Wade Henderson and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill.

The White House official did not say if the president discussed the replacement candidates for Attorney General Eric Holder during the meeting.

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Obama said, “We have a number of outstanding candidates who we’re taking a look at now” but that a nomination would come “in due course.”

“I’m confident that we’ll find somebody who is well-qualified, will elicit the confidence of the American people, will uphold their constitutional obligations of rule of law and will get confirmed by the Senate,” Obama said.

Tags Eric Holder

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