In Reno, first lady touts president’s successes |

In Reno, first lady touts president’s successes

Geoff Dornan / Nevada AppealFirst lady Michelle Obama greets supporters on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, on Wednesday.

RENO —First lady Michelle Obama told an enthusiastic crowd Wednesday that if her husband doesn’t win a second term as president, all the progress he has made in the past four years would be lost.“Are we going to turn around and go back to that same policy that brought us to the brink of collapse? All that hard work, all the progress we’ve made, it’s all on the line,” she said. The first lady, speaking for 30 minutes to about 3,800 supporters on the tree-lined quad at the University of Nevada, Reno, said President Barack Obama’s accomplishments include health care, veterans services, ending the war in Iraq, fighting for women’s rights to control their own bodies, ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in the military and the decision to stop deporting illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. when small children.“When he took office, our economy was on the brink of collapse. This economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month,” she said, adding that has been turned around and the nation has now had 30 straight months of job growth. But she said repairing the economy will take “a lot longer than four years” and “real change takes time. It takes patience and tenacity.”Michelle Obama also praised the president’s character, saying her husband is compassionate and, like herself, motivated by a desire to help others.“When you walk through that door of opportunity, you don’t slam it shut. You reach back and help others,” she said. “We were taught to value everyone’s contributions.” “As president, you must be driven by the dreams and hopes of all the people,” she added in a thinly veiled reference to Mitt Romney’s comments about the “47 percent” of Americans he said aren’t pulling their weight. “Here in America, teachers and firefighters should not pay a higher tax rate than millionaires and billionaires.”She said Wednesday was the couple’s 20th wedding anniversary — and Nevada backers can give them the anniversary present of working every day until the election to allow the president to win the state and a second four-year term in office. She added supporters can help by telling others about Obama’s accomplishments in office.“Tell them about the millions of jobs he’s created, about health care. He ended the war in Iraq,” she said. “Tell them Barack Obama knows the American dream because he’s lived it.”Michelle Obama said the race comes down to just a few battleground states and that Nevada is one of them.“From here to November we’re going to need everyone to work harder than ever before,” she said. “If we keep trying, we’ll get there. In America we always move forward.”