Michelle Obama speaks at UCF

First Lady discusses election, voting

ORLANDO, Fla. - First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the University of Central Florida on Tuesday, campaigning for her husband and encouraging Americans to register to vote.

The First Lady spoke to thousands at the UCF Arena on Tuesday. Just before her speech at UCF, she joined an exercise class for grade-school-age children at a nearby YMCA. Dressed in sneakers and capris, she joined the children in an energetic game of tag.

Obama campaigned for her husband's re-election. Doors opened to the public at 2:30 p.m. but the First Lady didn't take the stage until around 6 p.m. Obama pushed voting to the audience filled with students and joining her in campaigning for her husband.

"We want our parents and our grandparents to be able to retire with dignity because we believe after a lifetime of hard work they should be able to enjoy their Golden Years," Obama said. "We are here because we want to restore our basic middle class for our families."

Before heading to Orlando, she met  with grassroots supporters at Barbara Goleman High School in Miami Lakes.

The trip is Michelle Obama's first official, public campaign jaunt through Florida this year.

Obama was in full campaign mode as she highlighted her husband's efforts to create more jobs before a packed audience at the Barbara Goleman Senior High School gym in the western Miami suburb of Miami Lakes. She also touted the president's signature health care law, which she emphasized has increased affordable, preventative care for many, as well eased access to contraception for women and enabled more than 6 million young adults to remain on their parents' health insurance.

Obama urged everyone in attendance to register to vote and make sure their neighbors registered as well.

"Multiply yourselves," she said. "Let me ask you one more question?" the first lady said as she finished her speech. "Are you all in? `Cause I'm in. I'm so way in, and I am so fired up."

Obama received a roaring affirmative from the more than 1,000 grassroots supporters.

Clara Gabriel, 49, a Broward County school teacher, was among those who signed up to volunteer with the campaign after the first lady's speech.

Gabriel, a native of Haiti, voted for Obama in 2008, but like several others in attendance Tuesday, she did not get involved with the campaign during the last election.

"It's very different this time," she said. "I don't want him to lose. There is much more he needs to do, and I feel I have to do my part now."

Both President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have made multiple trips to Central Florida in their respective campaigns.

Although the president holds a modest lead in the state, Florida is considered one of the top battleground states with 29 electoral college votes up for grabs.

Copyright 2012 by ClickOrlando.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.