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First Lady speaks at UMW, visits YMCA in Spotsylvania
First Lady Michelle Obama told supporters her husband understands their struggles because he lived them, and urged them to spread the message of moving forward with the slow economic progress made over the past three years.
CLICK HERE for complete coverage of the first lady’s visit.
Mrs. Obama was speaking at a rally of about 2,100 people at the University of Mary Washington’s William Anderson Center.
She started with a reference to the killings of the American ambassador to Libya and others this week.
She said she wanted to say “truly how heartbroken Barack and I are about the horrific tragedy that occurred earlier this week in Libya.
“These brave Americans, and so many men and women just like them, they are the face of American diplomacy,” Mrs. Obama said. “Often times they do it in harm’s way.”
Her speech largely echoed the one she made at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte last week.
She described President Barack Obama as someone who came from good values but little money, who understood the need for policies to help people succeed.
When a door opens for you, Mrs. Obama said, “you don’t slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give folks the same chances that helped you succeed. “That’s how Barack and I and so many of you were raised. … . We learned that how hard you worked matters more than how much you make. We learned that the truth matters, so you don’t take shortcuts. You don’t game the system. You don’t play by your own set of rules. And we learned that no one gets where they are on their own.”
She said Obama isn’t satisfied with the country’s economic progress, but that “it’s going to take a lot longer than four years to rebuild an economy.
“Slowly but surely we have been pulling ourselves out of a hole that we started in,” Mrs. Obama said. “For three and a half years we have been moving forward and making progress and we are beginning to see that change. Are we going to turn around and go back to the same policies that got us here in the first place? Or are we going to finish what we started?”
Before coming to the UMW rally, Mrs. Obama stopped at the Ron Rosner YMCA in Spotsylvania County, visiting two after-school classes of middle- and elementary-school children.
Neither class was told she was coming; the kids and staff were equally surprised, with one girl repeatedly screaming, “Oh my God, I’m going to die.”
Mrs. Obama went from table to table, asking children their names, grade level and how school was going.
In the elementary-grades class, one boy asked her if she thought Obama would get beaten by Republican Mitt Romney.
“I watch TV,” he said by way of explanation, adding that he sees a lot of Romney on TV.
“He does have a lot of commercials,” Mrs. Obama answered.
Another girl asked her where they’ll live if Obama doesn’t win. Mrs. Obama said they could figure that out later.