(CNN) – Michelle Obama said Wednesday she has always loved America, seeking to quell the firestorm over her comment earlier in the week that seemed to suggest she is only now proud to be an American.
"What I was clearly talking about is that I am proud in how Americans are engaging in the political process," Michelle Obama told CNN affiliate WJAR after a campaign event in Providence, Rhode Island. "I mean everyone has said what I said, in that we haven't seen these record numbers of turnouts, people who are paying attention, going to rallies, watching debates.
“For the first time in my lifetime I am seeing people rolling up their sleeves in way that I haven't seen and really trying to figure this out, and that's the source of pride I was talking about," she continued.
On Monday, Michelle Obama told the crowd at a campaign event that "for the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country, because it feels like hope is making a comeback… not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change."
That comment immediately drew fire from several conservative talk radio-hosts. John McCain's wife, Cindy McCain, seemed to be responding to the remark when she introduced her husband at a campaign rally Tuesday by saying, "I am proud of my country. I don’t know about you, if you heard those words earlier — I am very proud of my country.”
On Wednesday, Michelle Obama said: "I love my country, and wouldn't be in this if I didn't care deeply and didn't believe that the kind of possibilities I had as a kid should be available to every single child."
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney