“I think the political discourse, the way it’s shown in the media, it’s all the nasty parts of it, you know? Because I guess we’ve become a culture where the nasty sells. So people are just gonna keep feeding that,” Obama, 54, tells Hager, 36, on the Wednesday, November 14, episode of the Today show. “But the truth is much more complicated and complex than that and I’d love if we, as a country, could get back to the place where we didn’t demonize people who disagreed with us. Because that’s essentially the difference between Republicans and Democrats. We’re all Americans.”
She adds: “We all care about our family and our kids and we’re tryin’ to get ahead. We have different ideas about what’s the best way to get there, you know? But that idea doesn’t make me evil and that doesn’t make him, you know, stupid. It’s just a disagreement and that’s how I feel about your father.”
Hager told Obama that her father texted her saying, “Send Michelle my love” before the interview.
The former first lady and the 43rd president, 72, have shared a special bond since she and Barack Obama moved into The White House in January 2009 after he and wife Laura Bush moved out. Since then, the Becoming author and the conservative politician have grown close, even publicly embracing at the National Museum of African American History and Culture opening in Washington, D.C., in September 2016, and sharing candy at John McCain’s funeral in September in a moment that went viral.
“He’s a beautiful, funny, kind, sweet man,” Michelle tells Hager during the interview airing on Wednesday. “And I don’t know that I agree with him on everything.”