Michelle Obama has delivered a devastating condemnation of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, saying plainly, “What the president is doing is, once again, patently false, it’s morally wrong, and, yes, it is racist. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work.”
The former first lady delivered the remarkably blunt attack via Joe Biden’s YouTube page. In a video titled “Michelle Obama’s Closing Argument,” she took Trump’s campaign apart for its reliance on attacking minorities, stoking fear, and spreading lies to exploit voters’ concerns about the perilous state of the economy and the raging COVD-19 pandemic.
“The president and his allies are trying to tap into that frustration, and distract from his breathtaking failures by giving folks someone to blame other than them,” Obama told viewers. “They’re stoking fears about Black and brown Americans, lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs, and whipping up violence and intimidation.”
Obama warned that “even reasonable people” are liable to fall for Trump’s nefarious tactics just weeks out from the election because he’s “really, really good at... using fear and confusion and spreading lies to win.” She then sent out an appeal to all undecided voters to think about Black and brown Americans before they cast their ballots in November or before.
“Put yourselves in our shoes for just a moment,” she said, apparently in a direct appeal to white Americans. “Imagine how it feels to wake up every day and do your best to uphold the values that this country claims to hold dear—truth, honor, decency—only to have those efforts met by scorn. Not only by your fellow citizens, but by a sitting president.”
Obama urged voters to examine their hearts and their consciences and asked them, “What would possibly compel you to accept this level of chaos, violence, and confusion under this president and be willing to watch our country continue to spiral out of control? Because we can no longer pretend that we don’t know exactly who or what this president stands for.”
Obama went on to skewer Trump for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying his statements on it amount to “gaslighting” the public. She said, “Seven months later, he still won’t wear a mask consistently and encourage others to do the same—even when those simple actions could save countless lives. Instead, he continues to gaslight the American people by acting like this pandemic is not a real threat.”
Obama described Trump as “a man who knew how deadly this virus is, but who lied to us, and told us it would just disappear... who, in the greatest crisis of our lifetimes, doubled down on division and resentment.”
Posting the video on her social media pages, Obama said the video was recorded before Trump announced his COVID-19 diagnosis and she considered not releasing it due to the “whirlwind” of events. However, she decided that “the drama” of the past few days has “only emphasized what’s at stake in this election, from the coronavirus to a constant drumbeat of fear, division, and chaos that’s threatening to spiral out of control.”
In her Facebook post, Obama added, “There’s only one way we can pull ourselves out—by voting for my friend Joe Biden, who’s got the heart, the experience, and the character to lead us to better days.”