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Michelle Obama Thanks Laura Bush

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Michelle Obama said she was "touched" that first lady Laura Bush came to her defense after she was harshly criticized by Republicans for saying last February that for the first time in her adult life she was proud of the United States.

Obama, wife of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, later clarified her remarks, saying she had always been proud of her country and was particularly proud to see so many people involved in the political process.

In an interview last week with ABC, Bush said, "I think she probably meant 'I'm more proud,' you know, is what she really meant." She said comments in a campaign are closely watched and can be misconstrued.

Michelle Obama told the women of ABC's "The View" that she sent Bush a note for her remarks.

"It took me a while to write it. It's like, how do I address her?" she said. "I said dear madam first lady."

Obama did not elaborate on the contents of the letter because she said Bush might not have received it yet.

"But I was touched by it," Michelle Obama said. "And that's what I like about Laura Bush. You know, just calm, rational approach to these issues. And you know, I'm taking some cues. I mean, there's a balance. There's a reason why people like her. It's because she doesn't, sort of, you know, fuel the fire."

At a campaign stop in February, Michelle Obama told an audience in Milwaukee: "For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change."

Cindy McCain, wife of Republican presidential contender John McCain, later sought to capitalize on the remark, saying "I have, and always will be, proud of my country."

Obama, guest host on the popular talk show, talked about the presidential campaign and helped interview actor Matthew Broderick.

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