WASHINGTON — Anyone who wants to be president should not "pop off about going to war" because it is serious business, Michelle Obama said Friday as she reflected on the "sobering experience" of visiting wounded patients at military hospitals.
In the early years of President Barack Obama's tenure, the first lady said their hospital visits would last for hours as they visited dozens of patients, including many who had lost limbs or had suffered other devastating injuries.
"And that's something that a commander in chief thinks about before they pop off about going to war, because when you've spent time on a base and you know these men and women and you know their families you don't just talk about war like there are no implications," Michelle Obama said during an appearance with former first lady Laura Bush at the National Archives.
Michelle Obama's comments were viewed as a direct criticism of Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has said he would "bomb the hell out of ISIS," also known as the Islamic State group.
Michelle Obama used the same "pop off" language later Friday as she headlined her first campaign rally for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
War is "serious business and lives are changed forever," Michelle Obama said at the Archives, "so I would hope that any commander in chief that would have the privilege of serving would understand that these are real lives and real families that are impacted."
Laura Bush said presidents aren't the only White House occupants who worry when troops are sent into harm's way; first ladies agonize, too.