Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
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September 16, 2016 06:05 PM

First Lady Michelle Obama criticized GOP nominee Donald Trump for his birther comments as she made her campaign trail debut for Hillary Clinton on Friday.

Speaking on Clinton’s behalf at a rally at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, the first lady did not directly name the Democratic nominee’s opponent but said: “There were those who continued to question for the past eight years up through this very day whether my husband was even born in this country.

“Well, during his time in office, I think Barack has answered those questions with the example he set by going high when they go low,” she said, echoing one of the most powerful lines of her widely praised Democratic convention speech in July.

Calling for “steady” and “measured” leadership, Obama said it’s “excruciatingly clear” that Clinton is the only candidate who can be trusted to serve as commander in chief.

“If a candidate is erratic and threatening, if a candidate traffics in project, fears, and lies on the trail, if a candidate has no clear plans to implement their goals, if they disrespect their fellow citizens including folks who made extraordinary sacrifices for our country, let me tell you, that is who they are,” she said.

Obama went on to make the case for Clinton as “one of the most qualified people who had ever endeavored to become president.”

“No one in our lifetime has ever had as much experience and exposure to the presidency. Not Barack, not Bill [Clinton], as he would say, nobody, and yes, she happens to be a woman,” the first lady said to applause from the crowd.

“So, we can not afford squander this opportunity, particularly given the alternative. Because here is what we know: That being president isn’t anything like reality TV. It is not about sending insulting tweets or making fiery speeches,” she continued in another thinly veiled criticism of Trump.

At one point the audience began chanting “four more years” as Obama reflected on her husband’s time in office.

To calm the crowd, she said, “You have Barack and me working on your behalf for the rest of our lives.”

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