First lady Michelle Obama gave a rousing, lengthy speech Thursday, hammering Donald Trump for vulgar comments he has made about women. Campaigning for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, Obama also addressed new allegations that Trump inappropriately touched women.
“It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted,” Obama said about Trump’s comments, including those made on a 2005 video that surfaced late last week.
Obama added that she felt it would have been “dishonest and disingenuous” for her to ignore the comments and deliver a campaign speech as usual.
“This is not something we can ignore” or sweep under the rug, she said. “This is not normal. This is not politics as usual.”
“Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough. This has got to stop right now,” she continued.
On Wednesday evening, The New York Times reported the stories of two women alleging unwarranted touching — one who says she was groped on an airplane by Trump more than three decades ago and another who says Trump kissed her on the cheeks and mouth at Trump Tower in 2005.
And late last week, a video surfaced in which Trump bragged that he “just start[s] kissing women. It’s like a magnet.” He continued on the tape, “grab them by the p****. You can do anything,” using vulgar slang for the female anatomy.
Trump and his campaign have said the allegations are fabricated. The candidate has also said several times, including during this week’s debate, that his comments were just talk, not anything he acted on. A lawyer for Trump sent a letter to the Times demanding that it retract the story and apologize. We have more on the allegations and reaction here.
Obama hit him on that defense, saying “this wasn’t just a lewd conversation … this was a powerful individual speaking openly and freely about sexually predatory behavior.”
“If all of this is painful to us as grown women,” she said, “consider what this is doing to our children.”
She also used the speech to praise Clinton and urge the audience to campaign and vote for Clinton, using a line she has used before. “We need to recover from our shock and depression and do what women have always done in this country … because remember this, when they go low, we go …” Obama continued, as the audience responded “high.”