Michelle Obama: ‘No One Gets Where They Are on Their Own’

September 14, 2012 - 12:40 PM

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First lady Michelle Obama. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – In a campaign speech on Thursday in Fredricksburg, Va., first lady Michelle Obama said that “no one gets where they are on their own” because there is a village of people “lifting us up,” including teachers and janitors.

In her speech about the Obama family’s values, Mrs. Obama said, “We learned that the truth matters, so you don’t take shortcuts, you don’t game the system, you don’t play by your own set of rules. And we learned that no one gets where they are on their own; that each of us has a community of people who are lifting us up -- from the teachers who inspire us to the janitors who keep our schools clean.”

Mrs. Obama spoke at the University of Mary Washington, telling the crowd that she and the president learned about citizenship and service from their parents.

“And we were taught to treat everyone with value, and everyone with respect,” she  said. “We learned about citizenship and service, that we’re all part of something bigger than ourselves; that with our freedoms come obligations, and with our blessings come a duty to give back to others who have less.

“See, these are the values that make Barack such an extraordinary husband and partner to me, but more importantly, such a phenomenal father to our girls,” Obama said.

Mrs. Obama said the president is “struggling” along with the American people and that progress has been made over the past four years.

“But what I know for sure, what I can tell you that your president is doing since the day he took office: Barack has been fighting for us,” Mrs. Obama said. “He has been struggling with us.”

“And together, slowly but surely, we have been pulling ourselves out of the hole that we started in,” the first lady said.  “For three-and-a-half years, we’ve been moving forward and making progress, and we’re beginning to see that change we all can believe in. That I know for sure.”

As president, Barack Obama gets a $400,000 a year salary and a $50,000 non-taxable expense account for official purposes. When he leaves office, his pension will be $191,300 a year.

According to their tax returns for 2011, the Obamas had an adjusted gross income of $789,674, which was down from $1,728,096 in 2010. Their family income topped $5.5 million in 2009, according to CNN.

The White House, where the president lives, has 132 rooms, 32 bathrooms, a movie theater, tennis court, jogging track and putting greens.