OBAMA: You probably don't need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man, who uses a cane, who is in his own home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president should make an apology to all law enforcement personnel.
OBAMA: I could have calibrated those words differently. And I told this to Sergeant Crowley.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHANOPOULOS: Crowley, Gates and Obama will be sharing a Blue Moon beer, sometime soon, at the White House. Let me bring our "Roundtable" back in. George Will, David Brooks, Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman, Donna Brazile.
And, George, the president said also, in that surprise press conference Friday afternoon, that he wanted this to be a teachable moment. So what did we learn?
WILL: That presidents should know that some things are not any of their business, such as local police disputes in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Now, George, look, when you are a highly paid, much honored tenured professor, at the richest university in the world. In a city with a black mayor, a state with a black governor, in a country with a black president, it is hard to get coveted status of victim. And Mr. Gates got the coveted status of victim with the help from the president. Because when the president said, the police behaved stupidly, he could not escape the belief that what -there is a name for what the president was doing, it's called racial profiling. The distinguished black man, white policeman, the policeman must be in some inferential way, a racist.
BRAZILE: I think the president was very measured in his initial comments and perhaps the word "stupidly" caused some to believe he was attacking the character of the police department.
But, George, there remains in this country a history of painful, shameful history of racial profiling. And it's not that black people walk around waiting to be called victims, it's because it is the dreadful fear.
I'll never forget the lessons my parents would teach my brothers, not us, but the boys, that no matter what happens, if you are stopped by the police, do whatever you're told. Put your head down and just wait. Don't say nothing. It is painful. It is shameful.
And I think the president was trying to raise a much larger issue, but unfortunately, his word choice got in the way.
BROOKS: I guess, I would say, what we saw is that you cannot see one event through multiple prisms. That event could be seen through the race prism, which Donna, just described the history of, frankly, picking on black men in particular. There's also the class prism. There has been a history of condescension in this country. And you can also see it through the prism of a cop versus a Harvard law professor, who is backed up by a Harvard law graduate. And using the word "stupidly" sounds condescending. So those multiple prisms conflicted.
And I thought by the end of the week, what you just showed in that little montage, there, it was like a sitcom. By the end of the week, I think Obama got to the right place. They both overreacted. He didn't quite say it, but sort of, I overreacted. And now let's talk this out over a beer. His final statement was pretty good.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It did seem, Arianna, like this was as much about, as David said, sort of gender, and class, as anything else. You've got two guys there, who have their backs up, neither one felt they were getting the respect they deserved and they just went off.