Former first lady Michelle Obama said Saturday that she isn’t interested in running for office, cautioning that “it doesn’t matter who runs” for the presidency until the U.S. becomes unified.
The remark came in an interview with actress Tracee Ellis Ross at the United State of Women Summit in Los Angeles when Obama appeared to respond to an audience member urging her to seek office.
“Well, that’s a whole other story because, that’s not the answer either. And when I hear people say, ‘you run,’ it’s part of the problem. We still didn’t get ‘yes we can’ right,” she said, referencing her husband’s 2008 presidential campaign slogan. “It’s not ‘yes you can,’ it’s ‘yes we can.’ And until we get that right, it doesn’t matter who runs.”
Obama, who has repeatedly said she has no plans to run for office, called the search for a unifying president a “distraction.”
“Change starts close to home. So looking for the next person to run … I don’t mean to cut that off, but that’s been our distraction,” she said. ” ‘We’re going to wait for the next person to save us.’ We thought it was going to be Barack Obama, but he didn’t end racism.”
Obama quipped that she voted for her husband twice but that racism still persists in America. “Like, I voted for the black man,” she said. “And we’re still living in racism.”
In April, Obama told a women’s forum that she doesn’t want the presidency, and would rather see someone with “passion” for the position run for office.
“You can’t just say, ‘You’re a woman, run.’ And we can’t look for women like that,” Obama said at a women’s empowerment forum in Boston. “We can’t just say let’s find the women we like and ask them to do it, because there are a million women who are inclined and who do have the passion for politics.”