America will have no one to blame but itself if it doesn't seize the opportunity to elect Barack Obama. That was the essence of a comment Michelle Obama made to Mika Brzezinski in the course of an interview the MSNBCer conducted with the candidate's wife in Iowa over the weekend.
The comments aired on today's "Morning Joe" during the 6:30 AM ET half-hour.
View video here.
BRZEZINSKI: Given the debate over whether he's been too passive when it comes to Hillary Clinton, he's gotten a lot of unsolicited advice on this. What has Michelle's advice been?
OBAMA: We definitely talked about it. We talked about this before we entered the race, because our view is that we're not doing this to win. And you can't win at all costs. Sometimes that's what politics has become. That's what the press is sort of saying: if you want to win you got to kill her, you've got to rip her apart. Well, if that's the only way you can win, which we don't believe is the case, if that's all politics is. If we've digressed as a society to a point where that's the only way we can work out issues and people, no wonder we're such a divided country. And if Barack wants to be a different kind of leader, then his approach to victory has to be different.
So I don't want Barack to be anybody other than who he is. Because if America doesn't accept that, then I want America to own that. I want them to look themselves in the face and say "you had a choice. You had a choice to choose somebody who was decent, who was going to be a uniter. Somebody who's going to be honest, who is going to tell you the truth. All these things you say you want, and then you get it, and you trip. You freak out. And you question it, and you worry, and is it true?"