Michelle Obama Hits the Campaign Trail

The first lady urged supporters to share the wealth and makes the case for a second term.

Posted: 02/24/2012 12:04 PM EST
Michelle Obama

First Lady Michelle Obama hit the campaign trail Thursday to hail her husband’s achievements and to promote his agenda by urging the rich to spread the wealth. Speaking to a group of about 300 supporters at an event in Ohio, Obama said, “If a family in this country is struggling, we cannot be satisfied with our own families’ good fortune.”


As the president has said in speeches meant to pressure congressional lawmakers to pass various measures that would help the middle class and unemployed, the first lady said that it’s a matter of American values.


“Who do we want to be? Will we be a country where success is limited to the few at the top?” she asked the audience, who paid up to $10,000 to attend the midday event. “This country is strongest when we are all better off.”


The first lady used her own upbringing in a “little-bitty apartment on the South Side of Chicago” and ultimate success to illustrate what can happen when families are given a fair shake and an opportunity to work and save, even if it’s a struggle.


“That’s what’s at stake — the fundamental promise that no matter who you are, no matter how you started out, if you work hard, you can build a decent life for yourself, and an even better life for your kids,” Obama said. “And on just about every issue — from health care to education to the economy — that is the choice that we face.”


At a campaign stop in Kentucky later that day, the first lady acknowledged that the economy the president inherited is still weak, but pointed to recent signs that it is in recovery, making the case for a second term.


“We have had 23 straight months of private sector job growth and unemployment is now the lowest it has been in three years,” she said. “But we know that we still have a long way to go, we have a lot of work to do.”


Obama also praised the Affordable Care Act, the administration’s signature domestic achievement, but warned that Republicans have vowed to repeal it.


“Are we going to stand by and let that happen?” she asked the crowd of 1,000 supporters, whose response was a resounding no way.


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