WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is deflecting criticism that his Cabinet for his second term is shaping up to be less diverse than it was during his first.

Obama says his first-term staff was as or more diverse than any other in history, and says he plans to build on that achievement in his second term. He says Americans should wait to see whom he appoints to open positions before rushing to judgment.

Obama is facing scrutiny from members of his own party over a perceived shortage of women and minorities among the candidates he is selecting to replace departing members of his administration. A number of female Cabinet members, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who is Hispanic, have stepped down or will step down soon.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.