FOUNTAIN, Colo. (AP) – Smiling and blowing kisses, first lady Michelle Obama sought to steady her husband’s campaign in Colorado Wednesday as she began a two-day swing through this battleground state.
A week after President Barack Obama turned in a lackluster performance at the first presidential debate at the University of Denver, Mrs. Obama stopped by a campaign rally a couple of hours to the south. The first lady turned on her campaign charm and had the 1,800 or so in the crowd not just cheering but screaming.
Michelle Obama said the race in Colorado would be close, but she stuck to an upbeat mood.
“I’m feeling pretty fired up and ready to go myself, so we’re going to get this done,” Mrs. Obama said.
A post-debate poll by the University of Denver suggested the race is tightening in Colorado. Though Obama held a narrow lead, Romney appeared to make gains after what voters called a strong debate performance.
The first lady didn’t specifically refer to last week’s debate, but she said the contest would be close in Colorado.
“We need you to work like you’ve never worked before,” she told supporters.
The first lady’s campaign visits come a week before ballots are mailed to Colorado voters who have requested mail-in voting. Vice President Joe Biden announced campaign stops in Boulder and Greeley next week, after ballots are mailed.
Mrs. Obama also headlined an event in Durango Wednesday. She had a campaign event planned for Thursday in Castle Rock at 12:10 a.m.
Mrs. Obama hit common campaign themes in her remarks in Fountain, talking up her husband’s accomplishments. She cited expanded Pell Grants for college students, the end of the war in Iraq and the new health care law.
She also talked a good bit about the economy, explaining that things are improving while urging voters to cut the president some slack that the economy hasn’t roared back for all.
“He inherited an economy in rapid decline. See, but instead of pointing fingers, instead of placing blame, your president got to work,” Mrs. Obama said.
The first lady also repeated a dig against Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who said at last week’s debate that he’d cut funding for public broadcasting.
Mrs. Obama said “cutting Sesame Street is no way to balance the budget,” a statement she also made Tuesday at a rally in Virginia.
Romney’s wife was campaigning in a different way Wednesday. Ann Romney hosted ABC’s “Good Morning America” and said her love of horses helped her overcome her fear that multiple sclerosis would put her in a wheelchair.
– By Kristen Wyatt, AP Writer
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