President Obama today backpedaled from his comment that the Massachusetts police who arrested Henry Louis Gates Jr. “acted stupidly,” the New York Times reports. In an unannounced appearance at the daily White House briefing, Obama said he “could have calibrated” his words more carefully in speaking on the incident, adding that he’d expressed his regrets in a call to Sgt. James Crowley earlier today.
The call ended with the suggestion that he, Crowley, and Gates, a renowned black scholar, grab a beer sometime at the White House, the president said. Obama followed his briefing-room appearance with a call to Gates himself, extending the same invitation, Time reports, after filling him in on his conversation with Crowley and his statements to the media.