First Lady Michelle Obama is joining the chorus of criticism against Donald Trump for alleged sexual aggression.
“Last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women,” Michelle Obama said about Donald Trump during her rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.
“I can’t believe I’m saying a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women,” said Obama, about Trump’s claim in 2005 that women accept aggressive behavior because of his fame. “I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump said told a TV host while they were waiting to start recording a show.
Mrs. Obama continued:
It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted. So while I’d love nothing more than to pretend like this isn’t happening, and to come out here and do my normal campaign speech, it would be dishonest and disingenuous to me to just move on to the next thing like this was all just a bad dream…
Here I am, out on the campaign trail in an election where we have consistently been hearing hurtful, hateful language about women — language that has been painful for so many of us, not just as women, but as parents trying to protect our children and raise them to be caring, respectful adults, and as citizens who think that our nation’s leaders should meet basic standards of human decency
However, Obama is also promoting Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, who on more than one occasion has been accused of rape and sexual assault. Hillary Clinton has been accused of intimidating women who objected to her husband’s sexual aggression, and of callously treating a child rape-victim.
Before the debate on Sunday, Donald Trump held a news conference with some of the women who had been raped by Bill Clinton. These women each told their story of the abuse that they endured at the hands of Bill Clinton.
But Michelle Obama focused her listeners’ attention on Trump’s activities, not those of the Democratic candidate and the former president. She said:
It’s that feeling of terror and violation that too many women have felt when someone has grabbed them, or forced himself on them and they’ve said no but he didn’t listen — something that we know happens on college campuses and countless other places every single day. It reminds us of stories we heard from our mothers and grandmothers about how, back in their day, the boss could say and do whatever he pleased to the women in the office, and even though they worked so hard, jumped over every hurdle to prove themselves, it was never enough.
Obama’s speech was readily accepted by journalists covering the event, according to The Daily Caller.
Michelle Obama has become more effective public speaker than any other First Lady in my lifetime
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 13, 2016
An editor at Vox.com, joined in:
I'm listening to Michelle Obama talk about everyday sexual assault and I'm litteraly sobbing.
— Elizabeth Plank (@feministabulous) October 13, 2016
Read more about the media’s reaction here.