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. Danielle dejean

    I dont think that you should make Michelle apologize for any type of comment she made. .America has plenty work to do cleaning up its act. We all need to get our acts together. Michelle Obama, I've got your back . Keep Standing On The Shoulders of Martin Luther King and others like him. Your husband is the best canidate for president. I believe Jesus is the judge of every one.

    February 20, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. Claire, Austin, TX

    You can love your child with all your heart, but will you always be proud of his behavior? No. Same thing.

    February 20, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. sad party

    Wait a second.... Where am I? Hmmm... I thought for sure I was trying to get to CNN.com, but it appears that some how I have been routed to a Fox News blog. Because, I know that the Democratic Party, that I am so proud to be part of, would not continuously tear apart their own members. OH WAIT, no no no, sorry, I'm wrong. That apparently IS the thing to do, a sure fire way to get your candidate elected.

    Clearly, from reading the good majority of the blogs that it appears the general consensus from both Clinton and Obama supporters is, "Its my way or the highway." Really you guys?? REALLY? You are going to vote Republican if your favorite candidate doesn't make it?? How absurdly childish. And I thought the Republicans were the selfish ones.

    What is even more laughable is the lack of political discussion that goes on here. Petty mud slinging, yes. Real political discussion? No.

    Maybe I'm missing the point, would someone like to explain to me why this process has to be so negative?

    February 20, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. Jim

    It looks like the Rightwing is scared. They are frightened. And they should be.

    In Wisconsin, Obama got THREE TIMES the vote that John McCain, the Republican winner, got. Even Hillary beat McCain, and she lost in a 17 point landslide.

    McCain is going to be roadkill to the Obama wave. They are scared, and are attacking with all they've got. If this is it, it's pretty sad.

    I even wonder if the RNC let McCain - who they dont like very much - win the nomination because they knew it was a lost cause.

    February 20, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. Christiaan, Norman, OK

    It kind of bothers me that she corrected what she said. I'm a loyal American and have devoted my life to the study and elaboration of its founding principles and deepest commitments, but I am not in the least bit proud of the way this country has conducted itself over the last handful of years.

    We arrogantly throw our weight about in the world with an errant disregard for the consequences, we neglect and disavow our basic liberties out of a desire to protect our security, and have systematically disenfranchised ourselves through our apathy and total refusal to take responsibility for our situation and ignorance. I'm not pointing any fingers, as I'm just as guilty, if not more so, as most, but that doesn't mean that I can't simultaneously love this country and not be proud out it.

    Thank you Mrs. Obama for telling us the truth, even if you felt compelled to retract it later because people are looking for any way they can find to attack your husband.

    Obama '08!!!

    February 20, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  6. Cheryl Taylor

    This exchange about whether Michelle Obama loves her country is the pettiest piece of news I've seen in a long time. How can that be measured? It appears to be another weak shot at the Obamas.

    Please, if they have something of substance, bring it forward, but in the name of God, if they do not, then stop wasting valuable air time with non-issues.

    Each weak attempt to discredit the Obamas turns more and more people towards them, and away from the other candidates. I don't believe the other candidates will see that America is tired of the petty politics, until Senator Obama becomes President.

    February 20, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. Duke

    We all have betrayed America, and our founding fathers. From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee, across the plains of Texas ,America is bleeding for the past 8 years. With over 4500 soldiers killed, 30k wounded, one million Iraqi dead, 5 million Iraqi refuges, 15 million American are losing their homes, recession, and the list goes on. We all played a role in wounding our country.
    Give the lady a break, and lets all unite to restore America for the generations to come.


    February 20, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Susan A. Mims

    As an African American, and Veteran, Michelle and Barak Obama is so far "Left" in the Democratic Party, center is a pipe dream. Again, the African American community is dazzled by "Bling." Sen. Obama, does not have the credentials to lead this country. Wake-up my fellow Democrats, don't be fooled by the flashing lights.

    February 20, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. Robin, Henderson Nevada

    When I heard that comment I said what in the world is this woman talking about, is she trying to derail her husband, its bad enough the guy is a lightweight on substance, but I got to give him credit he inspires many. I will Vote for him if he wins the Nomination, but I hope all the White Men that's flocking to him and voting to oust Hillary now are not Republicans in Sheep clothing–then turn around in November and Vote for Grandpa

    February 20, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. Melissa


    The naysayers, including the "Stepford Wife" McCain, are obtuse. I knew exactly what Michelle meant from the start.


    February 20, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  11. Erin

    I cannot believe that taking her words out of context is even an issue. What everyone should be focusing on is how Hillary is trying to undermind the American voters and use superdelegates to steal the election. She will stoop to any level to win. Thank God it is not working.

    February 20, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  12. jack

    oh please, this is the first time as an adult that I am proud to be an American, I don't know if I could support Hillary Clinton if she won, If he doesn't win this time there will be no second chance. What is with this woman. As a Independent my vote goes elsewhere.

    February 20, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  13. Bonheur

    Michelle, I understood what you meant from the get-go! You are going to be attacked quite a bit, hold you ground, a lot of us out here are pulling for Barak. You will make an awsome first lady. Don't let the critics get to you, that's only their job.

    February 20, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. jack

    Hillary is desperate!

    February 20, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Liam

    African Americans have been voting at the 90% level for White Democrats for decades, so stop calling them racists on the very first time that they have voted that way for a half white Democrat.

    February 20, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. Susan Alexa

    My comment is this, if anyone, I mean anyone had made the statement of, " and I quote for the first time I am proud to be an American" other than the Obama family who seems to be able to do know wrong no matter how insulting or arrogant, it would have been taken as the truly alarming statement it was and still is!
    I am quite taken back by the desperation of Americans to grab on to the illusion of what they feel is real. I am sorry to say, this action and the many actions of the Obama campaign have brought me to the conclusion of how just in trouble we as a nation are in, that we would accept unacceptable behavior.

    Have we as people, been so beaten down by the Bush administration, we will look to false hope and lack of experience that will only drive us further into destruction? I now can say, I am sadden by what is taken place, and should Obama be chosen to be the Democratic nominee, I will for the first time in my 33 years of voting, cast my vote for the least of two evils, and vote for McCain who at least has integrity far beyond Obama!

    February 20, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  17. Dwight

    Thank you, all you dumb liberals for telling the rest of us "what she meant to say"!!! She made a gaffe and as your darling liberal columnist has said: "A political gaffe is really an expression what the person really feels."

    February 20, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  18. LatinoNation

    So un patriotic I belive that an American any American would always no matter what LOVE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and be soooooooo PROUD!!! no excuse none !!!

    February 20, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. Texasboo

    Folks this "weak attack" against the Obama's mean that the competition couldn't find anything to stick, so they are twisted words. Let me tell you that the it's a shame what they did to that horse (the dead horse).

    Looks like the tag team of nasty, partisan politics work well for McBush and Clintonare politics s usual, the same old dame old. Time for change.


    February 20, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  20. Nari

    Oh BTW I am sure she didn't mean that she wasn't proud of America but it just shows to go we are ready to give a leap of faith to the Obama's but if anybody from the Clinton Family had said this, we'd all be screaming for their blood.

    CNN post my comments!!!!

    February 20, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  21. g.richards

    Alexander Mooney:

    My apologies for taking you and your staff to task over the "I love America" statement. I know the job you and your staff is doing is tough enough without having to be subjected to negative comments. My apologies to you all. Sorry i got off issue. g. richards

    February 20, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  22. HAF

    It is GREAT in America to be excited to participate in the political process. I have not seen the excitement Americans have shown in the political process for the past 50 years. I am so proud to see my 28, 26, 24, 21, & 19 year old children get so excited about the political process and their contributions and support for President Obama. Keep on KEEPING ON First Lady, Michelle Obama!

    February 20, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  23. Teddy, MS

    OMG, the Cindy doll talks.

    Of course Cindy, we all love our country. DUH....

    February 20, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  24. Bubba

    The union ticker was closed so I will post here. Hillary knows where Jimmy Hoffa is.

    February 20, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  25. Tim

    Has anyone noticed that Clinton supporters USE CAPITAL LETTERS WHEN THEY WRITE!!!!

    Clinton supporters.... Bill-O has said far worse, so do not judge her and attack her when you have blood on your hands too.

    Just a mistake on her part.... thats what happens when you are a new face in the political world.

    February 20, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
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