Michelle Obama on Race

ABC News' Kate Snow Reports: Michelle Obama says race is a real issue in election 2008.

But in an interview with News 14 Carolina’s senior political reporter, Tim Boyum, the wife of Sen. Barack Obama added that she hoped race would not be the sole factor voters use in judging who should be elected president.

“It’s inevitable that people will bring up race and talk about race in this campaign. What, if any, role do you think it should play in this campaign?” Boyum asked Obama during a brief interview following a campaign stop at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

“You know race is still an important issue in this country,” Obama said. "You know there are still so many things that are impacted by race -- whether it’s health. We know that there’s still health disparities that exist. There are women that are African American that are dying of higher rates of breast cancer. So the issue is real."

She paused a beat before continuing. 

“Our belief is that the decision of who will be the next president will not be based solely on race or gender. You know, my deep hope is that people will base their decision on who they think they can trust. Who’s got a vision for the country? Who’s bringing a different, you know, tone to politics and who’s going to really take this country in a different direction? And quite frankly, I think the only person that comes close to that is Barack. And he happens to be a black man,” she said.

Obama took no questions from national reporters, but spoke with Boyum because News 14 Carolina is seen in parts of northern South Carolina.  Wednesday was her first day of a four-day campaign swing through the state.

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