(CNN) - President Obama said Thursday he accepted Rep. Joe Wilison's apology for the South Carolina Republican's outburst Wednesday night.
"I'm a big believer that we all make mistakes," the president noted during a Cabinet meeting. But it's important to have a debate "without
vitriol. ... Our goals are generally the same whether we're Democrats or Republicans."
Wilson insisted that his outburst was "spontaneous" and agreed with the White House that the health-care debate merits "a civil discussion."
One top Republican, however, also opined that Wilson's outburst reflected the strong passion being generated by the health-care debate.
"We ought to have civil discourse in America, but don't underestimate the amount of emotion that people are feeling," said House Minority Leader John Boehner.