Obama says his words about Cambridge cop ‘unfortunate’

This just posted on CBS’ web site:

President Obama said Friday that he “could have calibrated [his] words differently” when he suggested Wednesday that the Cambridge police acted “stupidly” in arresting Harvard professor Henry Lewis Gates, Jr.

“To the extent that my choice of words didn’t illuminate but rather contributed to more media frenzy, I think that was unfortunate,” Mr. Obama said in a surprise appearance at the White House press briefing.

The president told reporters he had just spoken to Sergeant James M. Crowley, the arresting officer in the case. He said his words “unfortunately, I think, gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge police department or Sergeant Crowley specifically.”

There’s word on Twitter that Obama will bring Gates to the White House for a beer.

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21 comments Add your comment


July 24th, 2009
3:18 pm

Having Obama as president is most unfortunate.

The Snark

July 24th, 2009
3:32 pm

Having a President who can actually apologize when he makes a mistake is a nice change from the previous occupant of the White House.


July 24th, 2009
3:54 pm

I am a white southern woman, and I think President Obama is the most intelligent and thoughtful President that we have had in decades. We are so very fortunate to finally have a leader who cares about the common good. GOBAMA!


July 24th, 2009
4:11 pm

Snark, read his entire comments carefully. It wasn’t a real apology. it was one of those “I’m sorry people were offended” deals. Obama’s original statement was very dangerous and proves that he isn’t ready to be president. A “real” president would have never answered the question to start with… we now have black thugs runing around saying they don’t have to answer to a white cop thanks to Obama.


July 24th, 2009
4:11 pm

tell obama worry about the economy and not how police operate if it was a white man you wouldn’t of heard a peep


July 24th, 2009
4:13 pm

Snark, he didn’t apologize at all. AT ALL. He still feels the cop was in the wrong and acted stupidly he just wishes he didn’t catch bad publicity.


July 24th, 2009
4:33 pm

If it was a white man, it wouldn’t have happened.


July 24th, 2009
5:23 pm

An illegal aliens out there? Here ya go – citizenship made easy:



July 24th, 2009
5:33 pm

I’m with Melody. Obama was handed the Titanic (after it hit the iceberg) by the previous administration, and has made fantastic progress against impossible odds to keep the ship afloat. Since he is only human, and under unrelenting stress due to the myriad of problems he must deal with, it is inevitable that he will make mistakes and misstatements, but I sincerely believe he is a better person than most of our greedy, self-serving politicians. I wish the far right would quit their endless harassment. They are almost nihilistic in their wish to bring him (and our country) down with constrant, irrational and unwarranted criticism.

Boston Guy

July 24th, 2009
6:26 pm

I was disgusted that Obama commented the way he did. The incident had NOTHING to do with race. Gates got out of control and refused to show his ID. Gates is just using his influence to protect his own ego. Race relations have changed in this country. Gates should be ashamed of himself.


July 24th, 2009
6:35 pm

Gates didn’t HAVE to show his ID under Massachusetts law unless the officer had probable cause to detain him, at which time the cop would have had to read him his Miranda rights. He also didn’t have to come out of his house unless the cop had probable cause to detain him. Imagine it: you’re a professor at Harvard University, you’ve just come home from a long trip to find your house had been broken into. Your neighbor calls the police and while you’re trying to figure out what happened, some cop comes around your door, asking to see your ID and questioning you. You’re tired. It’s been a long trip. You’re trying to figure out what, if anything, has been stolen from your house–you’re probably a little emotional. Gates didn’t break the law by yelling; in Massachusetts, you have to be inciting a riot (ie, more persons than yourself) or causing physical threats to be considered to have ‘disorderly conduct.’ It was a bad time for the cop to be there. If the cop really didn’t think that Gates lived there, he probably could have confirmed with the neighbor, who was the one who originally called the police, and then went about his way instead of forcing his way into the situation.


July 24th, 2009
7:22 pm

Obama really showed how he really feels towards Whites! I believe he thought this would excite the African People but it had to opposite effect. I hope all the Policemen in this country will take issue with Obama calling the policeman stupid. This smells like Jermiah the preacher to me. I wonder what else he has to do before all Americans wake up and see what he is doing to our country.

I'm Just Sayin'

July 24th, 2009
11:09 pm

Obama is a bigot. We knew that by his choice of church affiliation, by the fact that he threw his white grandmother under the bus–and now it is affirmed by his degradation of a local government employee with a distinguished service record.

Bigotry, regardless of the practitioner, is distasteful. Obama gives all Africanized Americans a bad name.

Rick in Grayson

July 25th, 2009
8:28 am

Obama is as much a racist as the ranting and raving madman Mr. Gates. Mr. Gates is a fine example of a Harvard professor and his out of control behavior is a fine example of how to react to the police when they respond to a call of two men (wouldn’t matter what color of their skin)forcing their way into a home.

Yes, you do have to show your ID to police responding to a call like this or they can take you down to the police HQ. Would you prefer that police officers allow strangers to stay in a home after such a call? Mr. Gates was very uncooperative to police responding to a call and his Harvard University ID card did not include his residence. Mr. Gates did go out onto the porch in view of the gathering public and called the officer a racist in a loud manner and was disturbing the peace. Read the police report backed up by several officers. The citizens gathered at the house have not provided any other account of the incident that differed from the police account.

President Obama made a snap and incorrect call on this incidence because he was influenced by his friend, Mr. Gates. How do we know that President Obama does not make rash decisions under the influence of lobbyist “friends”? I think the whole healthcare bill is being rushed and he is bending to the will of illegal alien advocates when he allows the healthcare bill to extend coverage to illegal aliens. Are US citizens obligated to provide healthcare benefits to illegal aliens? Shouldn’t we provide coverage to US citizens first? Do we really have the resources to provide healthcare to anyone who enters the US illegally?

I question the judgement of President Obama, his rush to judgement, and his ability to be influence by others to create policy that is not in the best interests of Americans.


July 25th, 2009
8:30 am

It is a sad, sad day when police officers CANNOT DO THEIR JOB they are hired to do because of race! Most of my family serve or have served loyally to being police officers & they meet with this type of race every single day. People play the race card just to get sympathy from the media. If it were not for these police officers trying to their job & God forbid that something happens, what would be said then. These police officers were called out to this mans house because there was a disturbance at his house & as police officers, they have to respond. I am so sick & tied of hearing “The Race Card” played. The professor was rude & would not do as the police officers asked him to do. Please people, listen to the WHOLE story before you start saying that Obama was right about saying that about the police. Obama hates authority, hates the American way & he just keeps showing us this every single day. He is the biggest liberal I have ever seen come out of the Democratic party. Obama is a total disgrace to this country. He is acting like a spoiled rotten brat. He is by far the worst example of a president & he will go down as one! I commend the police officer & he hopes he does file a suite on this horrific man we have running our country. He needs to knocked down a peg or two. He is suppose to serve this country, not the other way around.


July 25th, 2009
9:43 am

People get emotional and say things that they shouldn’t. Is this an arrestable offense? There was a woman at Harsfield Airport a few years back who had words with a police officer who cuffed her and threw her to the pavement. Was that necessary? No way. Why are people so afraid to criticize law enforcement? Do we really want a society where law enforcement thinks they can act with impunity? Illinois policeman Drew Peterson may have gotten away with murder because evidence was suppressed by other law enforcement. Is this what we want?


July 25th, 2009
4:32 pm

Obama stuck his foot in his mouth and he can’t stand to pull it out.He needs to quit talking so much.

The Snark

July 27th, 2009
10:56 pm

“we now have black thugs runing around saying they don’t have to answer to a white cop thanks to Obama.”

Oh really? Name one.

What color is the sky in your world, Keith?


July 29th, 2009
11:57 am

you don’t go to or teach at harvard and get treaded as the same trash thats realy out braking into homes. my dad was a cop and i was brot up in the 80s in a black naborhood. i got jumped alomst every day going to school cuz my dad was a cop and i was white kid. dose that give me the right to hate or abues black people now. NO IT DON’T!!! we all have our own pass that herts. its when we move on that makes a better person. O yea and Obama I NEED A HOUSE TOO. think you can give me one.

Will Jones

August 5th, 2009
1:54 am

The race industry in this country is still in business.

Will Jones

August 5th, 2009
1:54 am

Obama is disgusting.