President Barack Obama is counting on their support as he tries to fend Republican challenger Mitt Romney for a second term in the White House.
“The issues are real and they are still there,” the First Lady said during a Thursday roundtable discussion in Leesburg, Virginia, to discuss the Obama presidency and the upcoming Nov. 6 election.
“So there is a seriousness about the direction of the country but let me tell you, older Black women love Barack Obama! Don’t mess with Barack Obama! There’s a lot of prayers going out and when you see the secret service, they’ve got to bolster up because they [Black women] are not going to let that [Obama losing the presidency] go!”
Mrs. Obama later highlighted a rally to help bolster her husband’s chances at again carrying the critical swing state.
Prior to that, the First Lady didn’t mince words on how she felt the president fared during last week’s first presidential debate against the former Massachusetts governor.
“You know I’m biased,” she said. “I think my husband has done a phenomenal job not just in the debate, but over these last three and a half years, and I continue to be in awe with just how poised and consistent and honest he is and his ability to lay out a detailed and common sense plan,” Mrs. Obama said.
“I always sit there, like, He’s right! This is where we need to go! So I don’t feel the horse race of it. We just don’t spend a lot of time talking about it. I’m so proud of him, and I make sure that he knows it every single day.”
Mrs. Obama added that she and her husband not only went on to celebrate their 20th anniversary privately at a restaurant later that evening, but then the next day, the President was met with 35,000 “passionate” ralliers.
Mrs. Obama believes voters are more concerned with the real issues as opposed to what the media and various political pundits have to say.
“People are really focused on the choices,” she said. “And the choices are clear. Like the debate or don’t like the debate, the truth is there are a lot of women out there who care deeply that we and our daughters have the right to make decisions about our own bodies. We have people who are desperate to ensure that their kids can stay on their insurance until they are 26 years old.”
President Obama carried 95 percent of the African-American vote in 2008 to put propel himself into office.
Mrs. Obama believes that black women will continue to be the largest voting block because of many of the hot-button issues that are at stake in this upcoming election.
“There’s definitely urgency this election, but I think the urgency is different from 2008,” she said. “In the first election, there was urgency, pride, and being a part of history with electing the first African-American [President] and having a black family in the White House and having a First Lady that women could identify with.
“But now it is about something bigger.”
Other issues at stake include higher-than-average unemployment within the black community and the fight to make college more affordable for those with less financial means.
The First Lady encouraged all people to make sure they vote.
“I think it is important for us to not take anything for granted,” Mrs. Obama said. “We have to be hungry, but it’s not just about re-electing Barack Obama, it’s about us voting and being engaged.”