(CNN) - The White House meant no disrespect toward Nancy Reagan when it failed to invite the former first lady and vigorous supporter of embryonic stem cell research to a bill signing ceremony on the subject, press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.
"I think she speaks in real personal terms about the issue," Gibbs told reporters. "And I think her candor and her courage have been heartening and we certainly meant no slight to her whatsoever."
On Monday, Vanity Fair published an interview with Reagan on its Web site in which she suggested the Obama administration missed an opportunity by not inviting her to witness the president sign the bill allowing federal funds to be directed toward stem cell research - a policy Reagan has long promoted despite objections from many in the Republican Party.
"I would have gone, and you know I don't like to travel," she told the magazine. "Politically, it would have been a good thing for him to do. Oh well, nobody's perfect. He called and thanked me for working on it. But he could have gotten more mileage out of it."
Gibbs' comments also come the same day Reagan attended a White House ceremony as President Obama signed legislation authorizing the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission.
She'll also attend the unveiling of a new statue of President Reagan Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda and then share a private White House lunch with Michelle Obama.
Obama issued an apology to Reagan earlier this year after joking in a press conference that she held séances during her years in the White House - an apparent reference to reports she consulted with astrologists when her husband was president.