Plus, why the Conners voted for Trump

By Lynette Rice
January 08, 2018 at 08:13 PM EST
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Roseanne Barr for Commander-in-Chief?

In her first major press conference for the Roseanne reunion, Roseanne Barr told reporters Monday that she’d make a better president than Oprah Winfrey and defended her support for President Donald Trump by saying, “I think it was time for us as a country to shake things up and try something different.”

“I do love Oprah. Of course I love Oprah like everybody else,” she said, when asked about Winfrey’s speech at the Golden Globes. That’s when she declared her superiority to the former Queen of daytime. “Actually,” she added, “I think I would be a better president than Oprah or Susan Sarandon, possibly even President Trump.”

She also explained why it was important to make her alter-ego a Trump supporter — something viewers will learn when Roseanne premieres on March 27 on ABC. Though Barr has made it clear on her personal Twitter feed that she supports the President, Barr said she felt like it was authentic if Roseanne and her husband Dan did, too.

“I said it, and I’ll say again, my show has always been … I’ve always attempted to portray a realistic portrait of the American people and of working class people,” Barr told reporters Monday in Pasadena. “And in fact, it was working class people who elected Trump, so I felt like that was very real and something that needed to be discussed especially about polarization in the family and actually hating people for the way they voted, which I feel like is not American. … There was a lot of thought in it.”

Barr’s personal politics ended up coloring most of the questions from reporters Monday. Though the entire cast of the reunion was on the dais — John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, and Laurie Metcalf, among them — most of the questions were directed at Barr and what she (and her character) thinks about Trump. Someone, for instance, wanted to know whether Roseanne Conner would question Trump’s xenophobia.

Barr tried to demur by saying, “I don’t want to get into this.” But then she did.

“I’m not a Trump apologist. There are a lot of things that he’s said and done that I don’t agree with. There’s probably a lot of things Hillary Clinton has done and said that you don’t agree with it,” she said. “Nobody is brainwashed into agreeing with 100 percent of what anybody said. One bright thing I read today is, this is the lowest black unemployment for many, many years, so I think that’s great. I do support jobs for people. I think that’s a great way to fight racism is that everybody has a job.”

When one of the show’s writers attempted to speak, Barr interrupted and said, “Speaking of racism, I’m just going to say it.”

“Are you sure?” responded Gilbert.

Yes, apparently. “A big part of why I couldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton is because of Haiti,” Barr said.

Then an ABC publicist tried to stop the panel. But Barr continued. “I think it’s a time to close ranks. I would really like to see an end to hatriotism in this country,” she said.

No, that’s not a typo. She said “hatriotrism.” With that, the panel was over.

—With reporting from Natalie Abrams


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