Updated on 2/10/12
Conservative pundits are targeting First Lady Michelle Obama—distorting her words and hurling accusations to revive tired and debunked attacks, with the goal to distract from her many accomplishments. Just a few examples include:
Joseph Curl claimed in the Washington Times that the First Lady has a “bilious disgust with America.”
Rush Limbaugh claimed that the First Lady is “unable to talk about anything positive or uplifting, including any of [her] own achievements, because there aren’t any.”
And conservative blogs have described the First Lady “a point person for partisan attacks.”
These articles use unsubstantiated claims and misleading quotes to try to paint a caricature of the First Lady—one that just doesn’t hold up against the truth and her record of work on behalf of our troops, their families, and kids across the country.
Here’s a few of the attacks that need to be nipped in the bud:
Both Curl and Limbaugh reference the same speech as evidence of the First Lady’s partisan negativity. But in reality, the speech actually focused on President Obama’s accomplishments—including health care reform, bringing American troops home from Iraq, and the need to “honor the fundamental American belief that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper, and if one of us is hurting, then we’re all hurting.”
Some of these attacks go so far as to question the First Lady’s patriotism, and couldn’t be further from the truth. The First Lady has expressed longstanding pride in the U.S., saying that her parents taught her “if we dreamed big enough, and if we worked hard enough, anything was possible. And in my country, we call that the American Dream.”
In addition to highlighting the accomplishments of President Obama and the administration, the First Lady has made it her to focus to pursue positive initiatives, including programs aimed at keeping kids healthy and providing support for our service members and their families.
It’s a record that Americans of every political affiliation can be proud of.
Here’s a little more background on them:
Let’s Move! is an initiative the First Lady launched to the challenge of childhood obesity. In just a couple of years, the program has increased the number of schools that meet the Healthier U.S. Schools Challenge, a voluntary program designed to recognize schools that have created healthy environments for their students. It’s also helped 1.7 million Americans earn the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, an initiative to help kids and adults meet healthy eating and physical activity goals. The First Lady has helped to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.
And she’s forged partnerships with large private firms to promote healthy eating:
In January 2010, the First Lady joined Wal-Mart executives to announce the store’s plan to make the food they sell healthier and more affordable.
Let’s Move! is working with major restaurants across the country (including Olive Garden and Red Lobster) to increase healthy menu options. And she’s working with grocery stores to expand access to healthy food by eliminating “food deserts” in low-income areas.
The Joining Forces initiative mobilizes all sectors of society to give our servicemembers and their families the opportunities and support they’ve earned. This includes partnerships with private companies to provide wellness programs, educational, and job opportunities to tens of thousands of veterans and military families:
The First Lady recently announced a major initiative on the part of the American Logistics Association and their 270 affiliate companies, including manufacturers Tyson Foods and Coca Cola and retail stores like Sears and K-Mart, to hire 25,000 veterans and spouses by the end of 2013.
As part of a Joining Forces event, the First Lady worked with the Sears Holding’s Heroes at Home program and nonprofit organization Rebuilding Together to help put the final touches on the 1,000th home the coalition has rebuilt for veterans since 2007.
Personal and unfounded attacks from conservative pundits are only meant to detract from the First Lady’s record—a record that she and the administration are justly proud of.
Now it’s up to you to spread the word the next time you hear one of these attacks on the First Lady: take a minute now to help spread the facts.