Winfrey did not shy away from sharing her political opinions as she gave the commencement address to the Harvard class of 2013, talking about gun control and immigration reform. On a personal note, she told them not to be afraid of failure.
After being one of Barack Obama’s first and most passionate supporters in 2008, Oprah Winfrey didn’t campaign for him in 2012. But if her Thursday speech to Harvard graduates is any indication, Winfrey is still an Obama fan.
Winfrey did not shy away from sharing her political opinions in her commencement address, talking frankly about gun control and immigration reform.
“We understand that the vast majority of people in this country believe in stronger background checks because they realize that we can uphold the Second Amendment and reduce the violence that is robbing us of our children. They don’t have to be incompatible,” she said to applause from the crowd.
She also spoke about the need for “a clear path to citizenship for the 12 million undocumented immigrants who reside in this country.”
“It’s possible to both enforce our laws and, at the same time, embrace the words on the Statue of Liberty that have welcomed generations of huddled masses to our shores,” she told the crowd. “We can do both.”
She also took on the cynical culture of Washington that Obama often decries.
“We are better than the cynicism and the pessimism that is regurgitated throughout Washington and the 24-hour cable news cycle,” she said.
While they may be divisive issues in Washington, Winfrey’s opinions are in the mainstream. Recent polls have found a majority of Americans support a pathway to citizenship and overwhelming majorities support universal background checks.
Watch Oprah’s address to the Harvard class of 2013 below.