Michelle Obama says not always easy to live up to 'we go high'
© Getty

Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaRegina King says she'd be honored to portray Michelle Obama in a movie Michelle Obama jokes Barack's message of hope began with being late for dinner Michelle Obama does Fortnite 'orange justice' dance with Santa MORE says it's not always easy to adhere to her "when they go low, we go high" motto, admitting there were times she wished former President Obama's response to political foes would be to "just curse them out."

"Oftentimes, going low means you're acting from a place of ego. You’re really just satisfying your immediate need to lash out. And rarely does that connect to a solution," the former first lady said at a Saturday book tour stop at Washington's Capital One Arena to promote her new memoir, "Becoming."

ADVERTISEMENT

Obama, speaking to Valerie Jarrett onstage in front of a packed crowd, responded to a question from the former White House adviser about why it was "so important" to her to take the high road.

"That motto is his motto," Obama said of her husband, referring to the now-famous line she delivered as part of her remarks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. 

"I say that because that's how Barack operates," Obama, 54, continued. "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.

"Just say these things," Obama says she would want to tell her husband.

"And he’s like, 'Well, that’s not the point,' " the ex-executive mansion resident said.

"The president isn’t the president for his own ego. The president is the president for the entire country," Obama told the crowd.

In what could be interpreted as a rebuke of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFamily says Trump travel ban preventing mother from seeing dying son Saudi Arabia rejects Senate position on Khashoggi killing Five things to know about the Trump inauguration investigation MORE's often-explosive rhetoric, without mentioning his name, Obama said, "We have to be very mindful of what we say and how we say it."

"You don’t stoop to their level. You have to stay above the fray. So that’s how we learned to operate. That's one of the ways we existed in the toxic climate that is, has become, sadly, our politics."

"Kids are watching us," Obama, a mom to daughters Sasha, 17, and Malia, 20, said.

"We have a choice in what we decide to accept as a people," she told Jarrett. "You've seen going high, and you've seen going low. And the question we have to ask ourselves is: which is better?"