Michelle Obama to suburban Denver crowd: “Are you in?”
CENTENNIAL, Colo. — First Lady Michelle Obama looked to rally supporters Wednesday morning here in the metro suburbs, an area that many believe will decide whether her husband wins Colorado and, chances are, the election itself.
“Think about the impact each of you will have on this election,” Obama implored volunteers, noting that November’s election is going to be close.
“So let me ask you just one question,” she said at the end of a 25-minute speech.
“Are you in?” she asked, as the crowd of 2,800 people met her with rousing cheers.
The speech marks the end of a four-day western campaign swing and came at Arapahoe High School, the same venue where Mitt Romney, now the presumptive GOP nominee, rallied supporters a day before February’s Colorado Republican caucuses.
“We are here not just because we support an extraordinary President,” Obama said. “Our president is awesome. And we’re not just here because we want to win an election — and we do and we will.
“We’re doing this because of the values we share and the vision we have for this country.”
Describing her own hardscrabble upbringing on the south side of Chicago, Obama paid tribute to her father, and likened his struggle to provide for his family to those faced now by millions of Americans.
“That’s what’s at stake in this election. It’s that fundamental promise that if you work hard, you can build a better life for yourself and your kids,” Obama said.
The First Lady touted her husband’s accomplishments, pointing out how the Affordable Care Act has lowered health care costs and expanded coverage for working families.
She also referenced accomplishments aimed at important electoral audiences: the Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay Act, the first bill President Obama signed upon taking office, and the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship but is blocked by Republicans in Congress.
“It is time to stop denying these kids an opportunity just because they weren’t born in this country,” Obama said.
With her approval rating roughly some 20 points higher than her husband’s, the First Lady is likely to be a fixture on the campaign circuit this fall.
While she didn’t refer to Mitt Romney by name, Obama drew subtle contrasts.
“We know what my husband stands for, don’t we?” she said, a veiled slight to Romney, widely caricatured as a flip-flopper.
“My husband knows what it’s like to struggle,” she continued, drawing a subtle contrast to Romney, the wealthy son of a former governor.
Following the event in Arapahoe County, Obama is heading to Pueblo for another event with Democratic supporters.
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