House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says he didn't mean any disrespect to President Barack Obama during a heated exchange that ended with the president cutting off a White House meeting.
The Virginia Republican told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he was only trying to find a way to agree on spending cuts that his party insists be part of any deal to raise the nation's debt ceiling by Aug. 2.
He spoke after Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor that Cantor doesn't belong in the sensitive high-level White House talks. Cantor said that he tries to be as respectful as he can, and hasn't changed since Reid thanked him for his honesty in an earlier meeting.
The talks resume Thursday at the White House.