OMAHA, Neb. – First Lady Michelle Obama framed the upcoming presidential election as a fight for the nation’s future that will “impact our lives for decades” to come, as well as a fight to uphold a “fundamental” American value that opportunities in this country should not be limited to a “few at the top” and that everybody should “play by the same rules.”
The first lady was in Omaha on Tuesday, where she was the headline speaker at the Girls Inc., annual luncheon. She then attended a fundraiser, held on behalf of her husband, at the Omaha Hilton.
During the fundraiser, Obama stumped in support of her husband’s tax plan, his controversial health-care law and his immigration proposal known as the Dream Act, which would allow young illegal immigrants, who came to this country as children, to earn a pathway toward citizenship by going to college or the military.
As for the president’s proposed tax plan, she said it would provide tax relief to middle-class Americans, that would allow them to heat their homes and send their kids to school. She also argued the so-called Buffett Rule was fair, because it would “close loopholes” so that millionaires and billionaires were not paying less than “firefighters and teachers”
As for health care, Obama talked about several popular provisions in the bill, including forbidding insurance companies from denying people coverage for pre-existing conditions and allowing parents to keep their children on their health plan up to age 26. “Are we going to allow insurance companies to refuse to cover our children?,” she asked.
She also touted Obama’s two “brilliant” Supreme Court nominations, noting that for the “first time in history, our daughters and sons watched three women take seats on the Supreme Court.”
She ended her speech, calling for those in attendance to get involved in the campaign. “Let me ask you one last question. Are you in?,” she asked several times, with the crowd roaring back “yes.”
About 225 people attended the fundraiser, sponsored by Omaha’s famed investor Warren Buffett. Dignitaries included former Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle and former Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey. The starting price for admission was $250, with proceeds going to President Obama’s Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee of Obama for America and the Democratic National Committee.
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bob Kerrey also attended, but he did not appear to be in the crowd when Obama spoke. “He was here. He has stuff to do,” said Obama, to loud applause.
After her Omaha stops, Michelle Obama headed to Des Moines, where she was set to speak to grassroots supporters in that pivotal presidential election state, one of about a dozen swing states expected to play a huge role in this year’s election.
It is a big week for the Obamas in Iowa. The first lady’s appearance comes a day before President Obama is set to stump in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.