"I believe that I'm saying a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women," the first lady said
“I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted,” she told supporters at a Manchester, New Hampshire, rally.
The first lady spoke about a week of “profound contrasts,” sharing that on Tuesday the White House hosted the International Day of the Girl, an event for the Let Girls Learn initiative.
“I walked away feeling so inspired … and I was so uplifted by these girls,” she said.
However, multiple women stepping forward with allegations of sexual assault against Trump have left the first lady feeling troubled for the future.
“In this election, we have a candidate for president of the United States who over his lifetime and the course of this campaign has said things about women that are so demeaning, so shocking, that I simply won’t repeat them here today,” Obama said.
She continued, “I can’t believe I’m saying a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women,” referring to the leaked 2005 video where Trump boasted about being able to do “anything” to women, including “grabbing them by the p—y,” due to his power.
The first lady added that Trump dismissing his comments as “locker room talk” was an “insult to decent men.”
“This was not just a lewd conversation. This wasn’t locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior,” Obama said.
Obama said Trump’s actions and words were unacceptable, whether a person is a Democrat or not.
“Be clear, this is not normal,” she reminded voters. “This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn’t matter what party you belong to … no woman deserves to be treated this way.”
She added, “This isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong.”
Obama raised concerns about future generations and what Trump, whom she referred to during her speech only as a “candidate,” is teaching them about treating women.
“We can’t expose our children to it for another minute, let alone for another four years,” she said.
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The first lady then turned her attention to Hillary Clinton‘s qualifications to serve as president, noting that the Democratic candidate “embodies so well all the values we try to teach our young people,” including being a team player, never giving up and not taking any shortcuts.
“She has been successful in every role, getting more exposure to the presidency than anyone in our lifetime. More than Barack, more than Bill,” she said, citing Clinton’s roles as secretary of state and in the senate.
Then Obama added, to a outburst of cheers, “And yes, she happens to be a woman.”
White House spokesman Eric Schultz expressed to reporters little concern that Obama was opening herself up to counter-attack from Trump. “I can’t think of a bolder way for Donald Trump to lose even more standing than he already has than by engaging the first lady of the United States,” Schultz told reporters traveling with President Obama aboard Air Force One on Thursday.