The White House today sought to soften the tone of President Obama's criticism of the Cambridge, Mass. police's arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in his own home earlier this week. But Obama said in an interview with ABC News that he was surprised by the controversy over the statement "because I think it was a pretty straight forward commentary that you probably don't need to handcuff a guy, a middle-aged man who uses a cane, who's in his own home."

The National Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) during the presidential election, but even unions that supported the then-Sen. Obama in last fall's election have misgivings with his recent comment.

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