Michelle Obama delivered a scathing speech blasting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday, as the First Lady campaigned for Democrat Hillary Clinton in Phoenix, Arizona. But Obama, 52, never mentioned Trump by name — referring to the 70-year-old New York businessman only as “a candidate,” as she portrayed the Trump campaign and vision for America as “threatening the very idea of America itself.”
Watch the entire, 30-minute Michelle Obama speech, described by the political site Vox.com as “a stirring defense of everyone left out of Trump’s America,” in the video at the top of this page. Obama spoke in Phoenix less that 24 hours after the third and final presidential debate between Trump and Clinton on Wednesday night.
Obama attacked Trump for what she described as his utter insensitivity and contempt toward women, people with disabilities and other members of society, saying that Trump “doesn’t understand us.”
“That’s why he sees veterans enduring the wounds of war as weak. Why he insults Gold Star families, folks who’ve spent months praying not to get that knock at the door. Heroes who love this country so much, they’re willing to die for it. He just can’t see them.
“Maybe it’s easy for him to mock people with disabilities because he’s unable to see their strength and their contributions. Maybe that’s why he demeans and humiliates women as if we’re objects meant solely for pleasure and entertainment, rather than human beings worthy of love and respect. He just doesn’t understand us,” the first lady told a crowd of 6,907 at the Phoenix Convention Center.
The first lady portrayed the Trump campaign as one offering no “hope” to American voters.
Obama also took issue with Trump’s often-repeated description of the country’s African-American population — a bleak portrait that Trump repeated in his closing statement during Wednesday’s debate.
“Our inner cities are a disaster. You get shot walking to the store. They have no education, they have no jobs,” Trump said from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas debate stage. “I will do more for African Americans and Latinos than she can ever do in 10 lifetimes.”
In the speech, Obama also confronted Trump’s claim that the presidential election is “rigged” against him, and that he plans to keep the country “in suspense” over whether he will accept the results of the voting if Clinton defeats him — as current polling indicates to be the likely result.
The state of Arizona has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate only once since 1976, when the state went for Bill Clinton in the 1996 election.
But according to the FiveThirtyEight.com current projection, based on an average of all polls taken in the state, Hillary Clinton currently holds a marginal lead over Trump in Arizona, with Clinton expected to take 46.3 percent of the vote in the state in the November balloting, to 45.8 for Trump.