Oprah Backs Obama but 'Not Going to Be Out There'
Oprah Winfrey said today that while she is "not going to be out there" as a booster for President Obama during the 2012 general election campaign, her support has not dimmed.
"I'm 100 percent behind our president. I actually love our president, and have the utmost respect for him and that office and what it takes to be there," Winfrey told Charlie Rose on CBS' "This Morning."
"I will not be out there because I'm trying to fix a network," she said.
OWN, Winfrey's cable network, has struggled to build an audience since it launched in January 2011 and recently laid off 30 employees, which she said was "difficult" to bear.
Winfrey was a leading celebrity supporter of Obama during the 2008 campaign as she traveled the country stumping on Obama's behalf and helping to raise cash at a series of star-studded fundraisers.
Earlier this year, the former talk-show host and media icon said in an interview with CNN that "if he [Obama] or his office called me tomorrow and said that they needed me, I would do whatever I thought would be of service."
For now, that service appears limited to financial support.
Oprah appeared last month at an intimate, high-dollar fundraiser for Obama's re-election effort at the Atlanta home of actor-producer Tyler Perry.
Tickets for the event were $35,800 per person. Winfrey was joined by longtime companion Gayle King, who is also a co-host of CBS's morning program.
"When Oprah decides she likes you, then other people like you, too," Obama told the group of 40 supporters.
"She continues to be not just a friend but somebody Michelle and I seek out in thinking about not just the day to day issues … but in trying to keep our focus on the big picture," he said. "And what she's done for so many people not just in America but around the world is extraordinary. "