LOUISVILLE — First lady Michelle Obama praised her husband's stewardship of the economy and his signature federal health-care law as she raised campaign cash Thursday in a state that has given President Barack Obama the cold shoulder in past elections.
Addressing more than 1,000 supporters who paid $100 to $2,500 at a fund-raiser at Louisville's Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Obama said her husband understands the hardships lingering from the recession he inherited. But she pointed to a string of upbeat economic reports in touting his record as he seeks a second term against a yet-to-be-determined Republican opponent in November.
"We have had 23 straight months of private sector job growth and unemployment is now the lowest it has been in three years," she said. "But we know that we still have a long way to go, we have a lot of work to do."
Hiring has picked up nationally in recent months. The economy added 243,000 net jobs in January, the most in nine months. The unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month, to 8.3 percent.
The crowd expressed its support for the landmark health-care law that Republicans have pledged to rescind. "Are we going to stand by and let that happen," she asked to a chorus of "No's."