(CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama weighed in Mitt Romney’s running mate choice Monday night, welcoming Paul Ryan to the campaign trail.
Asked if she was surprised by Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick, Obama said she hadn’t spent much time thinking about it. “But we welcome them to the campaign because as I said, this is a privilege.”
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The first lady, appearing on the “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” continued: “I hope that he and his family embrace the opportunity, which I know they will, to get out there and meet people in this country.”
In light of recent campaign rhetoric around the role of government in social programs like Medicare, the first lady said the accomplishment of her husband’s first term that she was most proud of was the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s signature health reform bill.
“There’s so much, but truly, health reform. I mean,” Obama said before being interrupted by applause. “(It’s) something that hasn’t been accomplished by a sitting president in a century.”
The first lady recalled she was on a plane when the Supreme Court handed down its decision determining the constitutionality of Obama's health care act in late June. She said some of the people traveling with her had pre-existing conditions. Obama's health care law, in part, prohibits insurers from denying patient coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.
"They had been worried what would happen," Obama said about those traveling with her on the plane. "They’re not going to work for the government their entire lives. So they were worried about whether they could ever get health care. And that’s no longer an issue for Americans.”
Romney gave the vice presidential nod to Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, who is the House Budget Committee chair, Saturday morning in Norfolk, Virginia. To much conservative fanfare, the pair traveled around Virginia and North Carolina over the weekend, before heading back to Ryan’s home state for a campaign event Sunday evening.
Both Ryan and President Obama were in Iowa on Monday attending the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines.
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