Public Eye asked Roberts about the incident and reaction and here's what he said:
"At the morning White House gaggle, I used an unfortunate choice of words in a question to Scott McClellan. Please be assured that there was no pejorative intent to my question. I was merely attempting to reconcile past statements about Harriet Miers with the President's new nominee for the Supreme Court.UPDATE: Roberts also apologized to McClellan at the more formal, on-camera press briefing this afternoon. Following a back-and-forth between McClellan and NBC correspondent David Gregory, in which the press secretary mentioned there was no need to be rude, it was Roberts' turn to ask a question. He said:
The early morning White House gaggle is an informal, free-wheeling and often irreverent forum, which is not broadcast and generally not publicly available.
Obviously, my tone this morning was a little too casual.
As we all experience from time to time, it was one of those 'oops' moments which we wish we could rewind and re-record.
I apologize to anyone who took offense to my poor choice of words. I can assure you I meant none."
"Scott, on the subject of rude, my apologies for my unfortunate choice of words this morning to you."