STAMFORD, Conn. — First lady Michelle Obama urged voters Monday to send Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal to the U.S. Senate, where her husband needs strong leaders to help fight for reform, she said.
With Blumenthal sitting on a stool to her right and a sea of camera phones in front of her, Obama told 800 supporters at a fundraiser at the Palace Theater in Stamford that Blumenthal would continue to fight for Connecticut in Washington as he has as attorney general and a former state legislator.
"Our campaign was never just about putting one man in the White House," Obama said of her husband's 2008 run for president. "It was always about building a movement for change millions of voices strong and a movement that lasts beyond one year and beyond one campaign."
Blumenthal, who has been attorney general for 20 years, is battling Republican former wrestling executive Linda McMahon for the seat held by retiring U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd. The election is Nov. 2.
Obama is the latest national political figure to campaign for Blumenthal. Her husband and former President Bill Clinton visited Connecticut last month to help raise money and rally supporters.
She also told the audience not to lose faith in her husband's vision for the country, despite change not coming as quickly as some had hoped.
"Many of us came in this expecting to see all the change we talked about to happen all at once," she said. "But the truth is, it's going to take a lot longer to dig ourselves out of this hole than any of us imagined."
Blumenthal told the audience that he is grateful for their support and said he believes that enthusiasm will carry him to victory.
"I may not have tens of millions of dollars like my opponent, but I have something money can't buy," he said. "I have you and it's all of you that will make the difference in this election."
He reminded the audience of his record in office. He has taken on corruption in the tobacco industry, social networks and other areas. He said he will continue that activism if elected.
"You want someone who's going to stand up for you, put you first, cares about you and will be in your corner," he said. "That's the kind of United States senator I want to be for you."
After the fundraiser, a McMahon campaign spokesman released a statement saying Blumenthal would not promote policies that will help the state's unemployment rate or turn the economy around.
"Linda is the only candidate in this race who has created jobs and understands how we can put Connecticut back to work," said Shawn McCoy.
Himes is running for a second term against Republican state Sen. Dan Debicella to represent Connecticut's 4th District.
"We are asking for your help," Himes said. "The work you did in 2008 is not done."