Michelle Obama says not always easy to live up to 'we go high'
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Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaPoll: Michelle Obama most admired woman in the world Former Michelle Obama aide calls for 'honest conversation' about immigration Biden jokes he's ready for a pushup competition with Trump 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."

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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 TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade 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?"