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Obama backs Senate Democrats' changing of rules on presidential nominees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday he supports Senate Democrats' moves to change Senate rules to make it easier for them to confirm his presidential nominees over Republican opposition.

In a statement at the White House, Obama accused Senate Republicans who have fought many of his nominees of a "pattern of obstruction." He said they have blocked his choices for top jobs not based on substantive arguments, but simply to "gum up the works.

"The gears of government have to work," Obama said.

(Reporting By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton; editing by Doina Chiacu)