Former speechwriter says Michelle Obama came up with 'when they go low we go high' line
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Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaObama: Cummings showed us 'the importance of checks and balances' Poll shows Michelle Obama would lead in New Hampshire if she entered 2020 Democratic race Obamas' first Netflix project nominated for Critics' Choice Documentary Awards MORE's speechwriter confirmed that the former first lady wrote the now-famous line “When they go low, we go high” from her 2016 speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

“I did not write that line — she came up with it. My contribution was typing it,” former chief White House speechwriter to Obama Sarah Hurwitz told People. 

“I feel very guilty when people give me credit for it, her line,” Hurwitz continued. “You know, she lives by that. At this time, which is just such a difficult time, to see someone whose life is an embodiment of ‘When they go low, we go high,’ it is so uplifting. It is such a joy, and I think people are so drawn to that.”


Obama has defended the line in the years since she said it at the Democratic convention ahead of the 2016 election. During a book tour for her memoir “Becoming,” Obama shared that it was not always easy to not lash out at attacks on her husband, former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington mourns loss of Elijah Cummings Obama: Cummings showed us 'the importance of checks and balances' Like Obama, Trump finds Turkey's Erdogan is trouble MORE.

"I say that because that's how Barack operates," Obama said in November 2018 at a stop at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. "I mean there’s so many times when I just want him — like I know all of you — to just curse them out," Obama said to loud applause.

Hurwitz also weighed in on first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpMelania Trump breaks ground on new White House tennis pavilion Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Buttigieg unveils aggressive plan to lower drug prices | Supreme Court abortion case poses major test for Trump picks | Trump takes heat from right over vaping crackdown Kroger to stop sales of e-cigarettes at stores MORE using phrases in her speech at the 2016 Republican National Convention that were nearly identical to lines from a 2008 Obama speech about “values” passed down from parents to children.

“Making that kind of mistake is every speechwriter’s worst nightmare,” Hurwitz said.

“I just felt this moment of gratitude that we had the most amazing fact-checkers who scrubbed every line of every speech,” Hurwitz told the magazine.

“It was so important to the Obamas to always be accurate and always tell the truth to the American people. It was this incredible concern for accuracy and honesty and truth that we lived by every day,” she continued.

Hurwitz released a book earlier this month titled “Here All Along” about reconnecting with Judaism during her time in the Obama administration and since leaving the White House