On Wednesday night, six women accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct via outlets as varied as the New York Times, Facebook, and a first-person account on People.com. Trump has vehemently denied the allegations, but on Thursday afternoon, Michelle Obama gave voice to how many women have been feeling since they surfaced.
“I can’t believe that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women,” she said during a powerful speech in New Hampshire. “I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core more than I ever could have predicted.” She went on to disparage Trump without once saying his name and to urge those in the audience to do everything they can to elect Hillary Clinton. Read some of her best quotes below:
On Donald Trump’s behavior:
“This is not how adults behave, this is not how decent human beings behave, and it’s certainly not how someone who wants to be president of the United States behaves,” she continued. “This wasn’t just locker-room talk. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually joking about kissing and groping women.”
On her own reaction to the accusations:
“Last week we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. I can’t believe I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women. I have to tell you that I — I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”
On the phrase “locker-room talk”:
“Strong men, those who are role models, know that they don’t have to tear women down to lift themselves up. To dismiss this as locker-room talk is an insult to decent men everywhere.”
On Trump’s fitness for office:
“If we have a president who routinely degrades women — who brags about sexually assaulting women — then how can we maintain our moral authority in the world? How can we continue to be a beacon of justice and human dignity?”
On women’s power to influence the election:
“We simply cannot endure this or expose our children to this any longer,” she said. “Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough. This has got to stop right now.”
“Imagine waking up on November 9, and imagine how you’ll feel if you stayed home or if you didn’t do everything possible to elect Hillary. We cannot let that happen. We need to recover from our shock and depression and do what women have always done in this country. We need to roll up our sleeves — we need to get to work.”
Almost as important as what she said is what the First Lady refrained from saying.
In fact, you might as well watch the whole thing.