UPDATED 3/2: After Oprah Winfrey joked that she wasn’t ruling out a presidential run, her close friend Gayle King weighed in Thursday on CBS This Morning to say that it was most likely just that — a joke.
“You always have the right to change your mind but I would bet my first, second born and any unborn children to come, that ain’t never happening,” she said. “Never. I’ll say never on this one.”
In an interview with Bloomberg Media’s David Rubenstein, Winfrey said that she “never considered the question, even the possibility. I just thought, ‘Oh. Oh.'”
Rubenstein then referred to Trump’s election, as he is the first figure to ascend to the presidency with no government and military experience.
Winfrey said, “I thought, ‘I don’t have the experience. I don’t know enough.’ And now I am thinking, ‘Oh.'”
It is unclear just how serious she was.
Winfrey did get involved in the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama, holding fundraisers for his candidacy and, in 2007 and 2008, appearing at rallies in Iowa, South Carolina and California. One study showed that Winfrey’s endorsement of Obama generated a “statistically and qualitatively significant increase” in votes for him in the Democratic primary.
Winfrey backed Hillary Clinton in the most recent presidential election, but she did not campaign for her.
“The reason why I haven’t been vocal other than saying, ‘I’m with her,’ is because I didn’t know what I could say that could actually pierce through all the noise, and the chaos, and the disgusting vitriol that is going on, and actually be heard,” she said in October as she was interviewing T.D. Jakes.
She also referred to Donald Trump as a “demagogue,” but did not mention his name.