[UPDATE] Tallahassee, FL - September 17, 2012 9:00 pm
This election is going to be closer than the last." That's what first lady Michelle Obama told a crowd of more than 10,000 people at the civic center in Tallahassee Monday night.
"Are you fired up? Ready to go?"
First Lady Michelle Obama energized a crowd of 10,000 in Tallahassee. She told them being fired up wasn't enough. She said they need to register, volunteer and vote to ensure Barack Obama wins in this critical swing state of Florida.
"My husband has said this election is going to be even closer than the last one and it could all come down to what happens in a few key battleground states like Florida. And folks here in Florida, you know a little something about close elections don't you?"
The first lady spent 40 minutes outlining her husband's first term.
"It' going to take a lot longer than four years to rebuild an economy from the brink of collapse," she told the crowd.
The first lady touted the auto industry bailout, health care reforms, and in this crowd full of college students from FSU and FAMU, she highlighted the expansion of student grants and loans.
"When it comes to giving our young people the education they deserve. see Barack knows that like me and so many of you, he never, never could have attended college without financial , never. In fact, as I shared during my convention speech, when Barack and I were first married, our combined monthly student loan bills were more than our mortgage. So when it comes to student debt, Barack and I have been there. That's why Barack doubled funding for pell grants and fought to keep interest rates down."
Michelle Obama's visit comes in the wake of a swing state poll that shows President Obama five points ahead of Republican Mitt Romney in Florida. Some call it a post-convention bounce. She challenged the crowd to make it last until election day.
"All the progress we've made, it is all on the line. Everything is at stake this November," Mrs. Obama said.
The first lady shook hands with folks in the crowd after her speech.
"Wow. It was awesome," said FAMU student Frederick Simmons.
"I think the most powerful part was when she talked about how important it was for all of us to get out and vote."
"The young people really make a difference. That's how he got into office the first four years and he can make it again these next four years," FAMU student Jasmine Lowe said afterward.
"Oh, I think it's going to be close," Monticello resident Patricia Garner said, "but I hope Obama wins. Health care will change this country forever."
"This election is going to be closer than the last one," Michelle Obama said.
First lady Michelle Obama talked about President Obama's record for the last four years. She talked about the economy, health care reform, and expansion of college loan programs.
The crowd applauded loudly as she talked about the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and the administration's decision to kill Osama bin Laden.
She also pointed to immigration reforms and the end of don't ask, don't tell in the military.
Teachers and firefighters should not pay higher taxes than millionaires," the first lady said.
"They also believe that when you've worked hard and done well and walked through the door of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you, no, you reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed," Mrs. Obama said as she talked about the values with which she and her husband were raised.
[UPDATE] Tallahassee, FL September 17, 2012 6:55 pm
First Lady Michelle Obama has taken the stage at the Civic Center.
"Even if you don't start out with much, if you work hard and do what you're supposed to do then you should be able to build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids and grand kids," she said.
[UPDATE] Tallahassee, FL September 17, 2012 6:24 pm
State Representative Alan Williams says 'Here in Florida we are looking for a candidate who has our back."
He urged everyone to get registered to vote and volunteer to help with the Obama campaign.
Williams fired up the crowd as he shouted "four more years." He called it an honor to have Michelle Obama in the capital city.
[UPDATE] Tallahassee, FL - September 17, 2012 4:03 pm
The Tallahassee Boys Choir performed. Boys choir director, Earle Lee, says Michelle Obama invited the choir to the White House for Christmas dinner.
Tallahassee, FL - September 17, 2012 3:45 pm
Folks are already lined up to hear First Lady Michelle Obama speak in Tallahassee.
The line to get into the Civic Center stretches from the front door all the way around the building and past the Seminoles Basketball facility.
The Obama campaign says it handed out 10,000 tickets to the event.