Obama’s Message to Military Guys: ‘Marry Up’

ABC News

FT. BRAGG, N.C. - When President Obama visits military bases, he likes to give marriage advice - but only, apparently, to the men in the crowd.

Following an introduction by first lady Michelle Obama inside an airplane hangar here at Ft. Bragg, the president heaped flirty accolades on his wife before addressing the "gentlemen" in the room.

"I'm sure you realize why I don't like following Michelle Obama. She's pretty good. And it is true I am a little biased, but let me just say it: Michelle, you are a remarkable first lady. You are a great advocate for military families. And you're cute," Obama said drawing laughter from the crowd and an embarrassed look from Michelle.

"I'm just saying," he added. "Gentlemen, that's your goal: to marry up."

Obama offered identical advice when he visited Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Va., in October, when he also followed his wife at the podium.

"She's so good. How lucky am I to be married to Michelle Obama?" he said at the time. "For you men out there who are not yet married, let me explain: The whole goal is to marry up, to try to improve your gene pool."

The exchange at Ft. Bragg today is also hardly the first time the first couple have been flirty together in public.

During a New York City fundraiser in September, the two exchanged in playful banter before a glamorous crowd of big-dollar donors.

"The only difference that I can think of is that the salt is starting to catch up with the pepper in his hair," Michelle Obama said of what's changed with her husband in his first term. "I think it's quite sexy, but it's coming."

President Obama returned the compliment, asking the crowd upon taking the stage, "Did you notice how she's getting cuter?"

"She is remarkable, and it is the reason that I've got remarkable kids," he said. "I have improved my gene pool."