LACONIA, N.H. (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama sought to rally her husband’s New Hampshire supporters Thursday by emphasizing President Barack Obama’s working-class background and values and touting the triumphs of his administration.
She also stressed that the only guarantee in the upcoming election is that it would be closer than four years ago.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports
“The one new voter you get to register to vote, that can be the one that makes the difference,” she said. “That can be the one that puts the election over the top.”
Michelle Obama was drumming up support for the program she launched last week — “It Takes One” — to encourage supporters to get friends, relatives and neighbors involved in the election. She made nearly identical speeches at a private fundraiser at the Holderness home of Stonyfield Yogurt founder Gary Hirshberg and his wife Meg, and later at a rally at Laconia Middle School attended by nearly 600 supporters.
Among those in attendance at the fundraiser were New Hampshire Democratic congressional candidates Carol Shea-Porter and Ann Kuster and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. She planned a third appearance Thursday night at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.
Pat Gould of Laconia waited in line in the heat outside the school to listen to the first lady. Gould praised the president for spurring passage of the federal health care overhaul law.
“He’s the first president who’s gotten any kind of health care passed,” Gould said. “And yes, it needs tweaking, but we’ve got it.”
Speaking through repeated bursts of applause in Laconia, the first lady never mentioned GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney by name. She sprinkled her speech with veiled references and questions whether Obama and his supporters would get the chance to “finish what we started.”
“Are we going to allow everything we fought for to just slip away?” she asked rhetorically, after listing a litany of her husband’s accomplishments — including the health care overhaul, tax cuts for working-class families and small businesses, the doubling of Pell grants to help reduce student debt, the auto industry’s revival and the killing of Osama bin Laden.
“Barack knows the American dream because he’s lived it,” Michelle Obama said. “He believes when you work hard, when you walk through that door of opportunity, you don’t slam it behind you. That’s what’s at stake in this election — it’s that dream, that fundamental American promise.”
No hecklers or protest signs were in evidence at the Laconia rally. Supporters responded loudly when the first lady shouted out questions like, “Are you in?” and “Are you ready for this?”
“This journey is going to be long and it’s going to be hard,” she said. “That’s how change happens in this country.”
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.