Michelle Obama Was 'Turned Off' by Trump's Debate Behavior, Wants to 'Get Out of This Chaos'
"We can’t let him win by tuning out altogether. That’s what he wants," the former first lady said about Trump while encouraging viewers to vote
Michelle Obama is turning her dismay with the president she is trying to oust into action.
On Tuesday night, former Vice President Joe Biden faced off against President Donald Trump for the first debate leading up to the Nov. 3 election. The event quickly devolved during the broadcast, however, with Trump repeatedly heckling and talking over Biden, who responded with disdain.
At one point Biden told Trump to "shut up," saying he was unpresidential; in another exchange, he said, "It’s hard to get any word in with this clown."
The president also often interrupted debate moderator Chris Wallace, who later admitted he was disappointed with how the evening "turned out."
The day after, the former first lady, who has become a vocal surrogate for her husband's former vice president, spoke directly to those put off by Trump's handling of the debate. She encouraged them not to check out ahead of Election Day.
"If you were turned off by the President’s behavior last night, I feel you. Believe me, I do," Obama, 56, began on Instagram. "But we can’t let him win by tuning out altogether. That’s what he wants. So turn those feelings into action—turn them into votes for my friend, @JoeBiden."
"It’s the only way we can get out of this chaos and restore some stability to this country. You can start by reaching out to everyone you know. Make sure they’re registered," she wrote.
"Make sure they know how and when they’re going to vote," Obama continued of relational organizing for voter turnout. "And then follow up with them, every day, to make sure they cast their ballot."
Invoking how Trump has said he would not necessarily accept the results of an election he lost, baselessly claiming there will be widespread fraud and problems at the ballot box, Obama wrote to her followers: "In this election, we’ve got to vote for Joe in numbers that cannot be denied."
Sharing a clip of Biden during the debate encouraging viewers to vote, former President Barack Obama echoed that message, writing in his own social media post: "Joe knows this isn’t about him—it’s about us. Make your plan to vote right now. We’ve got to vote like our democracy depends on it. Because it does."
Tuesday's debate, held in Cleveland, was the first of three scheduled between the candidates ahead of the Nov. 3 election, with a separate debate on Wednesday, Oct. 7, between Vice President Mike Pence and California Sen. Kamala Harris, Biden's running mate.
Biden and Trump will return for a town-hall debate on Thursday, Oct. 15, and a final debate on Thursday, Oct. 22.
Debate organizers said on Wednesday that the upcoming events will have "additional structure ... to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues."