State News

First lady touts Obama campaign in Charlotte on final day

Posted November 5, 2012 5:28 a.m. EST
Updated November 5, 2012 7:01 p.m. EST

— North Carolina got a visit Monday afternoon from Michelle Obama on her last day on the campaign trail for her husband.

The first lady visited Charlotte to stir up supporters, as polls show a tight race in the state between the president and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

"We're fired up and ready to go, because tomorrow we have the opportunity to re-elect such a decent honest man – a man whose courage and integrity we have seen every day for the past four years, the man I have known and loved for 23 years, my husband, our president, Barack Obama," she told more than 4,500 people.

A WRAL News poll released last Tuesday found that 50 percent of likely voters in the state would cast their votes for Romney and 45 percent for the president.

Both candidates were tied at about 45 percent in an Elon University poll released last Monday.

"This election is about choices – a choice about our values, our hopes, our aspirations, a choice about the America we want to leave for our kids and grandkids," Michelle Obama said.

That, she said, includes access to good schools and "an America where no one goes broke or loses their home because they get sick or lose their jobs."

She touched on women's rights to do what they want with their bodies and to choose their own health care. She talked about the long path the past four years to economic recovery.

"It is going to take a lot longer than four years to rebuild an economy on the brink of collapse," Michelle Obama said.

"Here's the question that anyone you talk to really has to confront," she continued. "'Are we going to just sit back and watch everything we worked for and fought for slip away?'"

The first Democrat to win the state since Jimmy Carter in 1976, Barack Obama carried North Carolina in 2008 by approximately 14,000 votes, or five votes per precinct.

Michelle Obama told the crowd that most of them know five people who don't intend to vote, and she urged them to do all they could to get people to the polls.

"It is all about going forward, and in the end, it is now up to somebody other than us," she said. "We are handing it over. The question now is up to the voters. Because truly, truly, all our hard work, all the progress we have made is at stake tomorrow."

"Think about those five votes," she went on to say. "Do everything you can between now and tomorrow to make your voices heard."

The first lady's visit comes a day after former President Bill Clinton rallied about 4,000 people in Raleigh, praising President Obama as a firm commander-in-chief who has also led an economic recovery.

Singer Mariah Carey, NBA Players Association President Derek Fisher and former Gov. Jim Hunt were also part of Monday's event.

It was Michelle Obama's third visit to North Carolina since the Democratic National Convention in early September. She appeared at North Carolina Central University two weeks after the convention and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last month.

President Obama hasn't returned to the state since the convention, and a visit isn't part of his final campaign schedule.

He's scheduled to visit eight battleground states, including Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio.

Romney was expected to make several campaign stops in key states, including Florida, Virginia and New Hampshire. Campaign officials said he will also campaign in Cleveland and Pittsburgh on Election Day.