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June 5th, 2013
04:50 PM ET

CNN exclusive video: First lady confronts heckler

CNN has obtained exclusive videos and images of first lady Michelle Obama being heckled at a fundraiser hosted by a couple at their upscale Washington home.

"We need to be better for all of our children. Do you understand? Our kids in this country, because they are counting on us to give them the chances they need to get the futures they deserve," Obama told attendees on Tuesday.

But one woman in the crowd wanted to talk about something else - gender equality.

Ellen Sturtz interrupted the first lady to ask her why the president has not signed an executive order that would bar a company that contracts with the federal government from discriminating over sexual orientation or gender equity.

The heckling did not go over well with Mrs. Obama or with the crowd.

"I don't care what you believe, wait, wait, wait. One of the things, one of things I don't do well is this," Michelle Obama responded, prompting cheers from the crowd.

The first lady then moved away from the podium into the crowd and said to Sturtz, "Listen to me or you can take the mic. But I'm leaving. You all decide. You have one choice."

"Mrs. Obama's very strong response yesterday was I think maybe 75% pure Michelle Obama reacting as she does, especially not having to ever face re-election again. Someone, in a sense, verbally got in her face and she didn't like it," said Lynn Sweet, Washington bureau chief of The Chicago Sun-Times.

Sweet has followed the Obama's for years.

"I think Mrs. Obama is very disciplined. She rarely goes off script. She rarely puts herself in the position where she could have something happen unexpected," said Sweet.

The first lady's unscripted response differed from how her more practiced husband tends to handle hecklers, like he did two weeks ago during a major foreign policy speech at National Defense University.

"This is part of free speech, is you being able to speak, but also you listening, and me being able to speak, alright?" Barack Obama said.

The White House Wednesday gave Michelle Obama's performance rave reviews.

"It's my personal opinion that she handled it brilliantly," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

CNN reached out to Sturtz, but she declined interviews, citing online threats.

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