Michelle Obama Rallies Supporters in Orlando
First Lady Michelle Obama swung through Orlando for a rally Monday night, making a final call to central Florida voters to re-elect her husband to the white house. Mrs. Obama's rally followed a Monday morning appearance in Sanford by republican challenger Mitt Romney. The two last minute rallies reinforce just how close the race is for Florida.
About 2,600 supporters gathered in a park near Orlando International Airport to hear Michelle Obama, who reminded them the election hinges on a few key states- including Florida.
“And when we win enough precincts we will win this state, and when we win this state we will be well on our way to put Barack back in the White House for four more years," said Mrs. Obama.
"You all could make it happen right here in Orlando, you can do this.”
Some of the loudest cheers at the rally came for Latin superstar Ricky Martin, who spoke before Mrs. Obama.
Martin said the president was respected abroad for his foreign policy and at home for his support of equal opportunity for the Hispanic community and his belief in marriage equality.
“We respect his steady and strong foreign policy, and respect what he’s done at home fighting for equal opportunity for the Hispanic community and all communities, because we’re all together in this," said Martin.
"We’re not divided, which is very important," said Martin, who also addressed the rally briefly in Spanish.
Like Mrs. Obama, Martin ended his speech by urging the crowd to get out and vote.
Gloria Madaus, a retired middle school teacher who volunteered on Obama's campaign this year and in 2008, was one of the 2,600 supporters who came to hear the first lady speak.
Madaus said the president's stance on some social issues like gay rights may cost him votes from some African American voters this time around.
"The religious part is what's swaying some people. It's about abortion, about gay rights," said Madaus.
"Those are kind of separating the churches and some people that supported him before," she said.
"We are divided, but we are coming together as a whole to make sure the majority of us vote for him."
Other speakers at the event included Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer and US Senator Bill Nelson.