February 20th, 2008
06:35 PM ET
15 years ago

Michelle Obama clarifies: I've always loved my country


Watch Michelle Obama's comments Wednesday.

(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."

Related: Cindy McCain, Michelle Obama in patriotism flap

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (199 Responses)
  1. Bruce

    Most people stumble occasionally when they speak. Big deal. We all know what she was trying to say. Don't misunderstimate her. As Ron Reagan once said, "Facts are stupid things". To focus on this type of thing is a distraction. Are we going to plot the course of our nation, or get hung up on silly sidebars?

    February 20, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. SecularAnimist

    Frankly, I am not particularly proud of a country that allowed Dick Cheney and George W. Bush to blatantly steal two presidential elections in a row and to launch a war of unprovoked aggression based on sickening lies, while looting the US Treasury and the US economy for the enrichment of their already ultra-rich cronies and financial backers. Nor am I proud of this country's corporate-owned media, such as CNN, who aided and abetted this heinous corruption and criminality.

    February 20, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. TC Powers

    Thanks Michelle, for putting this issue to rest.

    February 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. OurTimeIsNow!


    "If we fall for this...we will fall for anything." What else are they going to find wrong with his campaign? Barack used his friends words. Michelle stated an opinion about how she feels about the country's involvement in this political race. Barack stole his friends crayons in Kindergarten.

    Come on Hillary and McCain. If that's all you've got...you may as well start waving the white flag.

    Hillary and McCain both stated that change is more than just words. However, have you noticed that Obama's words has inspired an entire country to stand for real change. Not only in our country....but within ourselves. Think about it!

    Obama 08'

    February 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Ocala Florida Star Banner printed a quote from Michelle Obama. "I hate Hillary. If Hillary wins than I am going to vote for John McCain".
    Check this out. Is this want America wants for a First lady? No thanks.

    Thank you.

    February 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Bayou Joe

    WE know you love America, Mrs Obama. The real question is: Does your husband understand what is at stake in the world and what is he going to do about it? I hope he does win the nomination over Hillary. Just so we can expose him for the fraud that he is.

    February 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Jason Mitchell

    I love how people take things out of context. Questioning how much someone loves this country when their husband is running for President is absolutely absurd. I hope that people are smarter than Mrs. McCain apparently is. I'm a conservative, but I'm voting for Obama because I'm tired of the Republican's inability to get anything done. It's time for Obama.

    February 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. Ronald, American living abroad

    Michelle Obama is going to make a wonderful first lady. This cheap attempt to take her comments out of context is a desperate attempt by the status quo to keep change at bay. Obama's time has come and over 1,000,000 donations is proof that he is not alone. WE are the change we have been waiting for. For that, I join with Michelle Obama in a renewal of pride in the greatest country on earth!

    Oh, and which of John McCain's wives will be the first lady?

    February 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  9. Arlene Vance

    Michelle Obama was right to declare "for the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country." For the 1st time in a long time, I'm proud of my country too. Proud that they are looking beyond race and color to choose a President; Proud that they are NOT listening to the crap in the news media about who we "should" elect; Proud that for the 1st time since John Kennedy Americans are finding their own brains and making their own choices. Maybe there's hope for this country yet!!! Maybe Obama is right in telling us to keep hope alive!! Maybe, if we STOP listening to the garbage on the news we will finally get it right and elect someone for President who will actually care about AMERICANS and AMERICAN JOBS AND AMERICAN NEEDS.!! Arlene, Folsom, Ca

    February 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. wordslinger, chicago

    Gotta move a lot quicker on the damage control.

    February 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Illinois

    Common, you behave like a kid!

    February 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. gdouglas

    Now its starting to show, I am sure if Mrs Clinton were to win the nomination everyone especially Mrs Obama will blame it on a racial issue but no one is saying anything when all the black vote is going to Obama. You Americans dont vote on issues you only vote on what will make you look good on the world stage. it will be nice to say look at us we voted a black man to the office of President even though in my opinion Mrs Clinton it truly the better candidate for this job. Look good on you and you will get what you deserve

    February 20, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Please give this a rest

    People who are making a big deal about Michelle's previous statement need to get a life. It was pretty clear that she was referring to her pride in her country's ability to unite and participate in politics in a positive way–the unprecedented record turnout we haven't seen in decades.

    February 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. elizabeth

    first, i would like to say there has been presidents who had no experience. and to say that obama is not the right person for day one is rediculous.george washington,is a good example of hard work and determination is the american way.

    February 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  15. Ricky

    This just proves that all republicans are just out to cause trouble. The McCain project knows they are going to lose, ESPECIALLY to Obama, so now they're trying make democrats look like bad Americans?

    Come on now...

    February 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. Dick M

    Every conservative knows what Michele Obama meant when she made her remarks. To twist them out of context is cynical. But that's what conservatives do best.

    February 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Divine Destiny

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I think everyone is blowing the comment out of proportion. She never said that she hated America. She said she is finally "proud" of America, alluding to the democratic system. Even though conditions have not always been favorable for African Americans, I am proud to be an American who happens to be Black. I have always loved my country and I believe Obama's wife has, too. If that's all that McCain and others can come up with, it shows me that they are really concerned with Obama's potential as a successful candidate and ultimately President of the United States.

    February 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  18. jo

    People are always going to read into things and believe what they want. I understood exactly what she meant..however, whomever is not for Obama will interpret what she said the wrong way.

    Obama 08

    February 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  19. Marge Hibbing Mn

    So when she says something and it has a negative action, what does she do...CHANGE THE MESSAGE. Heck fire, is that the kind of CHANGE the obamas' are proposing , if we flame and dash, hold on....hold on....wait a minute...we'll CHANGE to what you want to hear.

    Boy if it was Hillary that said this it would be 24/7 hate hate hate hate hate but then it's the obama's and they walk on water. When this country wakes up from this obama cult like daze it is going to be too darn late.

    February 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Independent

    Did anyone honestly doubt her for a moment?! Give me a break. What's McCain's message?

    February 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. observer#1

    What an always angry looking woman. I hope this is not what we have to present as a First Lady. Her words will always ring in America's ears. She dug herself in deeper today trying to get out of the first comment.

    February 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. Eleanor

    Everyone should give this woman a break
    I watched her on Larry King live and she came across as very patriotic very intelligent and very composed with a lot of self confidence.
    A woman who is proud of her country and devoted to her husband
    I truly believe what she was trying to say just came out wrong
    Good luck Michelle

    February 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  23. JERIES

    She should of made it clear. She and Obama are rookies; they can't handle the republicans....thats why we need Hillary...she can handle it...the whole time during the primaries she has been taken punches and jabs

    February 20, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. Divine Destiny

    If you are not going to allow me to say what I want to say, I guess there is no need to comment.
    Thanks you.

    February 20, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. Vig

    Let's get to the heart of this. Mrs. Obama is speaking as an Afro-American woman and even though she is highly educated, she seems to be saying her experience as a Black woman in this country or what Blacks have had to put up with, does not make her proud. Now that her husband is a hot item, I guess she feels her claims to lack of entitlement of a piece of the American pie have been satisfied. Blacks have entitlement issues – and it is understandable why. That's why Obama hit the jackpot among Black voters – they are finally entitled to a Black President. Hey – aren't we also entitled to a woman President?

    February 20, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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