"I'm a big believer that we all make mistakes," said the president in response to a reporter's question during a photo op at the end of a Cabinet meeting.
"He apologized quickly and without equivocation and I'm appreciative of that," said Mr. Obama.
The president said he would "absolutely" be willing to take a phone call from Wilson. "I speak to everybody," he said.
Mr. Obama said he wants political figures to be able to have a conversation about important issues "without vitriol, without name-calling, without the assumption of the worst in other peoples' motives."
"I hope some of the fever breaks a little bit," said the president. And he urged the news media to help it along by "not giving all the attention to the loudest or shrillest voices."
Doubtful, Mr. President. Doubtful.
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