President Obama on Wednesday insisted that mothers have "got credibility" in selling his signature healthcare law to their peers and adult children at an event in the Oval Office.
"Moms can tell young people who think they're invincible, that they're not," Obama said, adding that there was "something about moms."
"Nothing can replace telling stories in the grocery store to somebody who may be skeptical," the president said, thanking mothers for their "face-to-face" efforts to promote coverage.
The rare joint appearance by the president and first lady was billed as an opportunity to promote the insurance exchanges among a demographic the White House says is crucial to getting consumers to sign up for ObamaCare.
"I think this is a recognition of the role that moms play in their families," White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday. "And they, I think, bear truths to their children and one of the truths that we hope moms around the country will convey is that it is very important to get covered, to be insured, to protect themselves against the potential of falling ill with a debilitating disease."
Michelle Obama told the assembled mothers that the healthcare law offered "peace of mind."
"Every family needs the peace of mind to know they're going to have the safety net they need," she said.
The push comes as polling suggests that women are souring on ObamaCare. A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Friday found that half of all women say they oppose the Affordable Care Act.
And a Kaiser poll released earlier this month found that four in 10 college-educated white women hold a “very unfavorable” view of the law, 10 points worse than a month ago. Another 10 percent of women say they have a “somewhat unfavorable” view of the law.
The first lady is expected to tout the moms’ meeting later Wednesday evening, in a trio of interviews with African American talk radio hosts. The Obamas and other female senior administration officials have also sat for interviews with prominent women's magazines.