ABC News’ Ed O’Keefe Reports: Laura Bush may be ready to give Michelle Obama the benefit of the doubt when it comes to her patriotism but Cindy McCain may not.
"I don’t know why she said what she said," Mrs. McCain explains in an interview with ABC News’ Kate Snow airing on "Good Morning America" Thursday. "Everyone has their own experience. I don’t know why she said what she said, all I know is that I have always been proud of my country."
WATCH "GOOD MORNING AMERICA" THURSDAY ON ABC TO SEE KATE SNOW’S INTERVIEW WITH CINDY MCCAIN.
Snow asked McCain if she was "insulted when Michelle Obama said she was proud of her country for the first time", referencing remarks Obama made at a Wisconsin rally during her husband’s fight for the Democratic presidential nomination against Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.
"For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of country not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change," Mrs. Obama told the Madison crowd, sparking outrage from conservative critics and fodder for an online ad produced by the Republican party in Tennessee.
In a rare move, Mrs. McCain also challenged Mrs. Obama’s remark, saying as she introduced her husband at a rally shortly after Obama’s remarks, "I’m proud of my country, I don’t know if you heard those words earlier. I’m very proud of my country."
In subsequent interviews, Obama attempted to clarify her remarks — something she did again in her appearance as a co-host of ABC’s daytime talk show "The View".
Obama insisted she is "proud of my country, without a doubt," going on to explain "I’m a girl who grew up in a working-class neighborhood in Chicago and let me tell you, of course I’m proud. What I was talking about is pride in the political process."
Patriotism might not be the only skirmish between the potential first spouses this election year. In the interview airing on "Good Morning America" Thursday, McCain didn’t shy away from political questions.
Asked by Snow if she would feel safe with Obama as president, McCain replied, "I would feel safe with my husband as president . . .I think Barack Obama is a fine man and Michelle Obama is a fine woman (but) this is about who would be better and I think my husband would be better."
Mrs. McCain is currently touring Vietnam in support of Operation Smile, a non-profit organization that provides facial reconstruction surgery.
ABC News’ Bret Hovell, Sunlen Miller, Jake Tapper, and Jennifer Parker contributed to this report.