Michelle Obama talks about Cleveland, Christie's surgery

Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 9:17am

First lady Michelle Obama weighed in on Monday's rescue of three women who police say had been held in captivity for years in Ohio, saying their discovery makes her heart "swell up with relief."

Obama also answered questions about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's move to have weight loss surgery in February, a decision he revealed Tuesday and talked about at great length in a high-profile news conference.

In the first lady's interview, which aired Wednesday on NBC's "Today," Obama was asked about her feelings following the news of three women who were found in a Cleveland home a decade after going missing.

"Just to imagine first losing a child and not knowing whether they're alive or dead or in harm's way, and to be holding out hope for a decade and to finally have those prayers answered, um, is just probably the best Mother's Day gift or gift that these families will receive," Obama said.

The trio of women disappeared from the same Cleveland street - Lorain Avenue - between 2002 and 2004.

With the help of a neighbor, one of the women broke out of the house where they were being locked in and called 911, thus ending the decade-long nightmare. Three brothers were arrested in connection with the kidnappings.

Obama, a strong advocate for healthy eating and active lifestyles, also commented on Christie's lap-band surgery, which he had nearly three months ago at the urging of his family.

Saying the surgery is "a very personal matter," the first lady said she tries not to comment on people's personal choices.

"I think Governor Christie is terrific. His family is wonderful, and I wish them the best," she said. "The one thing that I will say is that there are millions of people like the governor who struggle with adulthood obesity, and that's one of the reasons why I think 'Let's Move' is so important, because we want to start working with kids when they're young so that they don't have these challenges when they get older."

"Let's Move" is her campaign to combat childhood obesity.

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