From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) Barack and Michelle Obama addressed a small group of seniors at a retirement home here today, where Michelle Obama praised her mother for her role in caring for the couple's two daughters.
"We have this wonderful support system around us of people who love us and care for us and number one on top of that list is my mom, who is 70 years old," she said, "She finally retired even though my older brother and I have been begging her since we started having kids, but she is at home when we are on the road and, I don't know, there's nothing like having grandma there."
Michelle Obama added that her mother's pension from her late husband and social security are the reasons that she is able to care for her granddaughters, a role that Obama said has been pivotal to her daughters' and her husband's lives. "We know that we couldn't be who we are today not just because of our family but because we've got seniors in our lives, and the importance of having her there an instilling the kind of values she taught us to our girls is beyond measure and Barack has experienced that as well."
Barack Obama touted his retirement plan to small crowd, expressing his opposition to privatizing social security. "Imagine if your social security right now was tied up with the Dow Jones, how would you feel when you woke up in the morning and the Dow had gone down 400 points? You wouldn't feel real confident about the stability of your nest egg," Obama said.
Obama promised that achieving retirement security will be a priority in his first term, but that bipartisan negotiations will be a necessary part of the process. He said both Republicans and Democrats will have to "jump at the same time" otherwise the issue risks becoming politicized.
Playing off of John McCain's call for a series of town hall style debates, Obama said he is will participate in such a forum, but added, "when it comes to Social Security, he might want to finish the debate with himself first."