Michelle Obama: ‘What Truly Made Me Fall in Love with Barack Obama Was His Character’

By Melanie Arter | September 17, 2012 | 5:22 PM EDT

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama in Dubuque, Iowa on Aug. 12. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

(CNSNews.com) – First lady Michelle Obama, speaking at a campaign event in Gainesville, Fla., said Monday that what made her fall in love with President Barack Obama “was his character.”

“What truly made me fall in love with Barack Obama was his character. It was decency. It was his honesty, his compassion, his conviction,” the first lady said.

“Now listen up to all the ladies. Let me share a little something. See when I first met Barack, he had everything going for him – everything. He was handsome, still is. He was charming, talented and smart. But that is not why I married him. And fellas, this is where I want you to listen in.

The first lady said Obama’s character was what made her decide to marry him.

“See I love that Barack was so committed to serving others that he turned down high-paying jobs and instead started his career fighting to get folks back to work in struggling communities. And I loved that Barack was so devoted to his family, especially the women in his life,” she said.

“I saw - and this made a difference – I saw the respect that he had for his mother. I saw how proud he was that she put herself through school while supporting him and his sister as a single mom,” the first lady said.

“I saw the tenderness he felt for his grandmother. I saw how grateful he was that long after she had retired – should have retired – she was still waking up every morning and catching a bus to her job at a community bank to help support his family,” she added.

“And he watched as she was passed over for promotions, simply because she was a woman, but he also saw how she kept on doing that same job – you know kept getting up, year after year without complaint or regret. See with Barack I found a real connection, because in his life story, I saw so much of my own,” Mrs. Obama said.

She said it reminded her of her own father, who got up every day to go to his job at the city water plant.

“Growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I watched my own father make that same uncomplaining journey every day to his job at the city water plant. I saw how he carried himself with that same dignity,” the first lady added.