(CBS NEWS) Continuing a tradition started by Dwight Eisenhower in 1953, President Obama attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. today, delivering a plea for unity and humility and rebuking the often-fractious tone of American politics.

Mr. Obama recalled placing his hand on Abraham Lincoln’s bible during his second inauguration two weeks ago and noted, “Today, the divisions in this country are thankfully not as deep and destructive as when Lincoln led – but they are real.”

Praising Lincoln’s capacity to “see God in those who vehemently opposed him,” the president counseled his audience to follow Lincoln’s example. “In a democracy as big and as diverse as ours, we will encounter every opinion. And our task as citizens, whether we are leaders in government or business or spreading the word, is to spend our days with open hearts and open minds, to seek out the truth that exists in an opposing view, to find the common ground that allows for us as a nation and as a people to take real and meaningful action.”

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