[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/07/22/harvard.gates.interview/art.gates.demotix.jpg caption="Gates was arrested last week at his home in Massachusetts on a charge of disorderly conduct."]
(CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Thursday that President Obama does not regret saying Cambridge, Massachusetts police "acted stupidly" in arresting Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Asked aboard Air Force One whether the president regrets the choice of words, Gibbs told reporters that Obama, who made the remarks at Wednesday night's White House press conference, "was not calling the [arresting] officer stupid. The situation got out of hand."
Related: NRCC takes on Obama's cop comment
Gates was arrested last Thursday at his Cambridge home for disorderly conduct - what the arresting officer described as "loud and tumultuous behavior in a public space." The charge was dropped Tuesday on the recommendation of police, and the city of Cambridge issued a statement calling the incident "regrettable and unfortunate."