Michelle Obama Takes Down Donald Trump In Powerful Campaign Speech

michelle obama donald trump 2016 election

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

It’s been a terrible week in American politics, starting with the unearthing of video footage showing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump bragging about his treatment of ‘beautiful women,’ claiming ‘I just start kissing them […] I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything, grab them by the pussy.’ Since then, many women have spoken out about Trump’s past inappropriate behaviour.

With just 26 days left until the United States head to the polls, Michelle Obama has delivered a powerful message to American people, urging them to support Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton, and eviscerating her rival Trump – without even mentioning his name.

Speaking at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, the First Lady said it was a matter of ‘basic human decency’ to stand up to Trump, whose behaviour and comments she branded ‘disgraceful’ and ‘intolerable.’

Obama described the comments from Trump (who she only referred to as a ‘candidate’ or ‘opponent’) as ‘hurtful, hateful’ and ‘painful for so many of us, not just as women, but as […] citizens who think that our nation’s leaders should meet basic standards of human decency.’

‘The fact is that, in this election, we have a candidate for president of the United States who over the course of his lifetime, and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today,’ she said. ‘And last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.’

michelle obama campaign speech
Michelle Obama speaks at a rally ahead of the 2016 election ©Getty Images

Obama went on to explain that these remarks had ‘shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted,’ to the point that it would be ‘dishonest and disingenuous’ to ignore them and continue with her ‘normal campaign speech.’

‘This is not something that we can ignore,’ she continued, arguing that Trumps words were more than just ‘locker room banter’ – they were an example of ‘a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behaviour. And actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us worried about our children hearing it when we turned on the TV.’

‘I have to tell you that I listen to all of this, and I feel it so personally. And I'm sure that many of you do, too, particularly the women. The shameful comments about our bodies, the disrespect of our ambitions and intellect, the belief that you can do anything you want to a woman? It is cruel. It's frightening. And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts. It's like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you're walking down the street, minding your own business, and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body […] It’s that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them or forced himself on them, and they’ve said no, but he didn’t listen.’

The 2016 election, Obama argued, has not merely been an example of ‘politics as usual.’ Instead, as she puts it, ‘This is disgraceful. It is intolerable, and it doesn’t matter what party you belong to – Democrat, Republican, Independent – no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserve this kind of abuse.’

‘Let’s be very clear,’ she added, ‘strong men, men who are truly role models don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together and that is what we need in our next president.’

Watch Michelle Obama's full speech below

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