- Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
- Oprah says she is mostly apolitical.
- But on some issues, she has expressed political views.
- Speculation over her possible 2020 presidential bid reached a fever pitch after her widely praised Golden Globes speech.
Billionaire businesswoman and talk show host Oprah Winfrey has long insisted that she is apolitical.
“I don’t consider myself political, and I seldom interview politicians,” she said during a 2008 interview with then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, whom she provided with an endorsement and support on the campaign trail.
“So when I decided to talk with you, people around me were like, ‘What’s happened to you?'” she continued. “I said, ‘I think this is beyond and above politics.’ It feels like something new.”
During a 2008 rally for the candidate, Winfrey said she was “not here for partisan beliefs” and that over the years, she’d voted for as many Republicans as she had Democrats.
“So this isn’t about partisanship for me,” she added. “This is very, very personal.”
But now with newly-fueled rumors of a possible Winfrey run for the presidency in 2020, her views are receiving renewed attention.
And though Winfrey would certainly seek the Democratic Party’s nomination should she run, some of her views were praised by conservatives. Conservatives columnists such as John Podhoretz and Bill Kristol praised the idea of Winfrey running for office, with Kristol citing Winfrey’s pro-regime change position on Iraq and its former leader Saddam Hussein prior to the breakout of war in 2003. Conservative tax activist Grover Norquist subsequently noted Winfrey’s past opposition to the estate tax.
However, of the views that Winfrey has expressed, most fall in line with the traditional positions of the Democratic Party.
When it came to the Iraq War, Winfrey was actually far more notable for airing programs that dove into the opposition to the war prior to its outbreak. She held a two-day special to explore the negative implications on Iraq, and some speculated that the Bush administration held a press conference during one of Winfrey’s broadcasts to counter the programming.
Winfrey has expressed pro-gun control views, is pro-LGBT rights, and has come out in favor of providing a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented Americans protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
During her widely-praised speech at the Golden Globes on Sunday, Winfrey spoke of the importance of press freedom while also expressing solidarity with the “Me Too” movement.
Additionally, Winfrey has supported a handful of major Democratic candidates and endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. In 2013, Winfrey hosted a fundraiser for then-Newark Mayor Cory Booker during his initial Senate bid.