Jim Harbaugh in Politico: ‘I’m for America first’

The Detroit News

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said he has not met with Donald Trump since he became president but has spoken to former President Barack Obama since the election.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh

In an interview with Politico Magazine — “Why Jim Harbaugh Took a Shot at Trump’s Budget” — that was posted Saturday, he shared his thoughts on his involvement in political issues. For the record, he said he spoke to Obama about former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative in which Harbaugh has been involved.

Harbaugh said he there is no line he tries to walk on political issues.

“I’m not saying this as a football coach, I’m saying this as an American,” Harbaugh said. “I’m for America first.”

It was pointed out by the magazine reporter that “America First” is a Trump slogan right now.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” Harbaugh said. “As (Madison) said in Federalist 51, ‘Justice is the end of government, the end of civil society. It ever has been (and) ever will be pursued until it be obtained or until liberty be lost in the pursuit.’”

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Politico mentioned Harbaugh’s tweet last month when he said: “I hope reports that White House trying to defund Legal Services Corp aren’t true LSC is CRUCIAL to making justice system fair #LSCmatters” Harbaugh is part of the LSC leaders council along with Hank Aaron. LSC provides legal aid in civil cases to more than 1.8 million low-income people across the country.

He told Politico he became involved with LSC two years ago because he cares about justice.

“Some people say, ‘Why is a football coach concerned,’” he said. “I’m an American first and all Americans should care about justice. The idea, as you learn about our legal system, (is) the danger of not being able to have access to justice.”

Harbaugh was asked if there is anything in his contract with UM that prevents him from having any say on political or social issues.

“I think it’s recommended — I work at a public university — to be apolitical,” he told the magazine. “As I’ve told you before, this is a bipartisan issue. It’s an American issue and I’m allowed to be an American.”