Michelle Obama tells West Philly crowd ‘it's all on the line'

First Lady Michelle Obama stresses a point during remarks Thursday at the University of the Sciences. CLEM MURRAY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
First Lady Michelle Obama stresses a point during remarks Thursday at the University of the Sciences. CLEM MURRAY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Posted: August 10, 2012

FIRST LADY Michelle Obama returned to Philadelphia Thursday and to her role as cheerleader-in-chief for her husband's presidential campaign, urging a raucous crowd of 2,000 volunteers in West Philadelphia to press forward until Election Day.

Obama rattled off a summary of the president's first-term accomplishments — health-care reform, more Pell Grants for college students, tax cuts for small-business owners, the killing of Osama bin Laden, the drawdown of military forces in Iraq — and called for a second term to build on those efforts.

"It's all on the line," she told the cheering crowd at the University of the Sciences. "Everything is at stake."

Stressing many of the same points she made in a June 5 visit to Philly volunteers, Obama again predicted a close election between her husband and Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

She told the volunteers that just one more person, someone they register to vote or cajole to turn up at a polling place, could make the difference.

Obama did not mention Romney by name, but seemed to allude at one point to his wealth and proposed policies when explaining her husband's desire to offer everyone a "fair shot" at a college education and other opportunities while having everyone pay their "fair share" in taxes.

"That means simply that teachers and firefighters shouldn't pay higher tax rates than millionaires and billionaires," she said.

An Aug. 1 poll by Quinnipiac University showed Obama leading Romney, 53-42 percent, among registered Pennsylvania voters.

Rob Gleason, chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, called the first lady's visit to Philly "a stark reminder" of what he dismissed as the president's failed policies in office. Gleason cited the unemployment rate and the stimulus program that was supposed to help create jobs.

"That is the president's legacy and the reason he will lose Pennsylvania," Gleason said in statement released while the first lady was speaking at the university.

Contact Chris Brennan at 215-854-5973 or email him at brennac@phillynews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN and read his blog, PhillyClout.com.

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