Pres. Obama (R), Sgt. Crowley (2nd R), Prof. Gates (2nd L), and VP Biden (L) drank beers on the White House South last night. The so-called Beer Summit was held after Crowley arrested Gates at his home, sparking tensions and racial furor. (PHOTO CREDIT: SAUL LOEB/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
After beers at the White House - Sgt. James Crowley and Prof. Henry Gates say their talks were productive and that they plan to meet again.
The two men - at the center of what grew into a national conversation on race - met with President Obama and Vice President Biden at a patio table outside the White House.
Crowley says it was a frank discussion - that they agreed to move forward rather than dwell on the past. He didn't give more specifics except to say that no one apologized. Gates says he hopes the experience will "prove an occasion for education, not recrimination."
President Obama said he was thankful to both men for joining him for a "friendly, thoughtful conversation." The White House is probably glad to have this meeting done with, hoping the president can get the nation to focus on his priority of health care.
It probably wasn't the president's finest moment - a new Pew poll shows 41-percent of those surveyed disapproved of the president's handling of the Gates arrest - only 29 percent approved.
Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct - after making charges of racism against Crowley. President Obama inserted himself into the debate by saying the Cambridge police acted "stupidly" while admitting he didn't know all of the facts. Later, the president walked back his comments a bit - but stopped short of apologizing.
Here’s my question to you: Sgt. Crowley says no one apologized at the White House meeting. Were apologies in order?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Anthony from Brooklyn, New York writes:
I'm less concerned with apologies as I am with simply talking. As an African-American, I've been discriminated against, as have the majority of minorities in one way or another. Hearing someone out, or at least attempting to understand, is more of a step in the right direction than a simple "I'm sorry."
Linda from Arizona writes:
God, what a stupid mess. I'm so sick of it. Crowley should apologize for lying in his report. Gates should apologize for flying off the handle. Obama should apologize for dragging everyone through this ridiculous exercise, and not inviting Lucia Whelan, the only person to behave well in the incident. Biden should apologize for a bunch of other things. Now, can we please MOVE ON??
Mike from Gastonia, North Carolina writes:
Pres. Obama owes an apology to those of us who are sweating out the health care reform debate, anxious to rein in the profiteering insurance companies. We really could have done without the distraction.
Yes. Gates should have apologized on behalf of every member of the self-perceived "elite" who has opened a conversation with a police officer by saying "Don't you know who I am?" Those situations generally end in unnecessary arrests. The officer was doing his job according to his training.
Stan from Manitoba, Canada writes:
I believe a beer summit is the international code for letting bygones be bygones. They had a good discussion about the situation and they had a beer while doing it. No apologies necessary.
Jack, You owe us apologies for covering this non-story endlessly. Why can't you just let this go? Let it go, Jack. Just let it go.
Michael from Alexandria, Virginia writes:
Jack, You and I both know men don't apologize over one beer. That takes at least a case, followed by either a fight or repeated use of the phrase "I love you, man."