First Lady Michelle Obama described Michaud as a “decent, honest hardworking man” who is the best candidate for working families. She said:
“I am very proud to be here in support of him. Mike understands what families here in Maine are going through — he knows. And as you all know, the entire time he was serving in your state legislature, he was working on the mill floor at the Great Northern Paper Company. He worked there for more than 29 years. So when it comes to creating jobs and making sure folks get a decent paycheck for their work, Mike understands what’s at stake in people’s lives.
And Mike doesn’t get caught up in partisanship or politics. He was unanimously elected president of the Maine Senate by 17 Democrats, 17 Republicans and one independent. And he worked hard to bring those folks together to do great things for this state like raise the minimum wage, and cut taxes for small businesses, and so much more.
And Mike brought that same spirit to Congress — working across the aisle to improve benefits for our veterans, and promote clean energy, and make sure our military uniforms are 100 percent made here in the U.S., including right here in Maine.”
Mrs. Obama appeared before a fired up crowd of over 1,500 people at the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine. She was preceded by Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, and state Sen. Emily Cain, who is running for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District House seat.
Michaud is running against Republican incumbent Gov. Paul LePage and independent candidate Eliot Cutler. Michaud drove home the reality that 70,000 people in Maine do not have healthcare coverage because Gov. Paul LePage vetoed the measure.
“They have been denied healthcare because of the governor. I need you to stand with me to get healthcare for these people… I need you to stand with me to increase the minimum wage,” said Michaud.
LePage vetoed a bill passed by the state legislature to increase the minimum wage. Maine has the most people, per capita, working for minimum wage.
“I need you to stand with me so that we can protect a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions,” said Michaud. “I need you to stand with me. I need you to stay with me. I am the only candidate in this race that can defeat Gov. LePage. We cannot afford history to repeat itself by allowing outside interest groups to divide us.”
Michaud emphasized a range of other issues including education, student debt, women’s health care, equal work for equal pay, and clean, renewable energy.
Mrs. Obama highlighted how her husband kept America out of a Depression, and brought healthcare to millions working with Congress Representatives like Michaud:
"When Barack first stepped into office, this country was in full-blown crisis mode. Our economy was literally on the brink of collapse. If you can imagine, Wall Street banks were folding. Businesses were losing 800,000 jobs a month. Folks on TV on the news were panicking about whether we were headed for another Great Depression –- and that wasn’t just talk, that was a real possibility. And there was more — that was just domestically. But that’s just some of what Barack walked into on day one as President.
"Now, I want to bring you to today. And I want you to look at where we are less than six years later. By almost every economic measure, we are better off today than when Barack took office. And here is why. Our businesses have created more than 10 million new jobs since 2010. And that’s including the 236,000 jobs created just last month. This is the longest uninterrupted run of private-sector job growth in our nation’s history. You understand that? In the history of this nation.
"The unemployment rate has dropped from a peak of 10 percent back in 2009 to 5.9 percent today. And right now — and this is important for our young people — right now, more job openings are available than at any time since 2001.
"Last year, the number of children living in poverty decreased by 1.4 million –- that is the largest drop since 1966. And today, our high school graduation rate is at a record high. More of our young people are graduating from college than ever before. And as you know, because of the Affordable Care Act, health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in nearly 50 years, and millions more Americans finally have health insurance…
"This is the kind of change that can happen when we elect leaders who share our values and who listen to our voices. And that’s what this election is all about. It’s about whether we’re going to elect leaders who will fight for our families and for the kind of world we want to leave for our kids and grandkids.
That’s the kind of leadership people here in Maine deserve. And that’s why we need to elect Mike Michaud as governor of this state."