Stand Clear of Michelle and a Tamale, President Says About Wife

May 5, 2011 7:05pm

ABC News' Tahman Bradley reports:

President and Mrs. Obama welcomed a big crowd to the White House for a Cinco de Mayo reception in the East Room.  Hispanic politicians, Hispanic Americans serving in the Obama administration, and members of a commission on exploring the creating of a new national museum of the American Latino were among those in attendance. 

"Welcome to the Cinco de Mayo at the White House," Obama told the enthusiastic crowd before promising he wouldn’t speak too long. 

"Nothing ruins a good fiesta like a long speech from a politician, so I’m going to keep it short." 

The first lady agreed that the president should be brief, "Keep it short," she said.  The first lady wore a dark green dress that matched President Obama’s green tie. 

The president called Cinco de Mayo a chance to commemorate the shared heritage between Mexicans and Americans. "It’s a day for remembering that America is a richer, stronger, more vibrant place thanks to the contributions of Mexican Americans to the life of this nation."

The crowd learned a little tidbit about the first lady, courtesy of her husband. 

Said Obama: "I asked Michelle the other day, I said, ‘What’s your favorite food’ — because we were sitting around with the girls. She said, ‘Ah, Mexican food.’" 

The crowd loved the news. 

"You do not want to be between Michelle and a tamale," joked the president.  "It’s true. It’s true. But she’s moving, though, so she can afford to have as many tamales as she wants," said Obama in a nod to his wife’s "Let’s Move" healthy campaign.

The night was not without politics.  Obama said that the country needs to fix the "broken" immigration system and address the status of undocumented workers. Obama also said he hopes to sign the Dream Act into law one day.

The crowd enjoyed buffet tables featuring queso, guacamole and lamb chops. 

The United States Marine Band performed. 

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