WASHINGTON — First lady Michelle Obama delivered a powerful rebuke of Donald Trump and his behavior toward women during one of the most emotional speeches of the presidential campaign on Thursday.
“This is not normal,” Obama said in the New Hampshire address. “This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. This is intolerable.”
Obama framed the election as a crucial moment for the history of women — not just because voters have the opportunity to elect their first female president, but because they can send a message that the country no longer tolerates the attitudes toward women that Trump represents. She said that tolerating another minute of Trump’s behavior, including the lewd remarks caught on a hot microphone and the allegations several women are now making that he groped and kissed them against their will, is hurting women and sending a dangerous message to America’s youth.
“The men in my life do not talk about women like this,” Obama said of the recently disclosed tape in which Trump boasts about groping and uninvited kissing. “To dismiss this as everyday locker room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere.”
Obama warned the crowd that if they don’t show up on Election Day to vote for Hillary Clinton, they are helping Trump.
The forceful address underscored Obama’s role as one of Clinton’s most impactful surrogates. Throughout the speech, Clinton’s own Twitter feed lit up with quotes from it.
“The men in my life do not talk about women like this, and I know that my family is not unusual,” Obama said. “Strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women for themselves to feel powerful.”