Michelle Obama has a lot to say about those lewd and sexually suggestive comments Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made about women with then-Access Hollywood co-host Billy Bush in a 2005 video recently released by The Washington Post.
On Thursday, FLOTUS took the podium at a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, delivering a powerful speech that immediately gained praise for “getting serious” on what many Americans have been thinking about Trump’s “hurtful, hateful language about women,” words Obama used in her speech that were later quoted by viewers via Twitter.
“This is not something that we can ignore,” Obama, who never actually referenced Trump’s name in her speech, explained. “It’s not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. This wasn’t just ‘locker room banter.’ This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behaviour.”
Obama highlighted the “profound contrast” of recent events, and how Trump’s vulgar language has personally affected her. She also addressed the new allegations that the Republican presidential candidate inappropriately touched women in the past, which Trump and his campaign team have denied.
“On Tuesday, at the White House, we celebrated the International Day of the Girl and Let Girls Learn [initiative],” she exclaimed, getting a bit emotional. “It was a wonderful celebration — it was the last event I’m going to be doing as First Lady for Let Girls Learn. I had the pleasure of spending hours talking with the most amazing young women you will ever meet, young girls here in the U.S. and all around the world.”
“We talked about their hopes and their dreams. We talked about their aspirations,” she said, adding, “I thought it would be important to remind these young women how valuable and precious they are. I wanted them to understand that the measure of any society is how it treats its women and girls. I told them they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. And I told them they should disregard anyone who demeans or devalues them and they should make their voices heard in the world.”
“Last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women, and I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women,” she continued, also telling the crowd she “can’t stop thinking about this.”
“It has shaken me to my core,” she exclaimed, “in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”
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And I have to tell you that I listen to all of this, and I feel it so personally. And I’m sure that many of you do, too, particularly the women. The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman? It is cruel. It’s frightening. And the truth is, it hurts. It hurts.
It’s like that sick, sinking feeling you get when you’re walking down the street, minding your own business, and some guy yells out vulgar words about your body. Or when you see that guy at work that stands just a little too close, stares a little too long, and makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. 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’ve 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. We thought all of that was ancient history, didn’t we?
As ET previously reported, a number of people have recently come forward accusing Trump of inappropriate conduct, including four 1997 Miss Teen USA contestants, People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff and “Celebrity Apprentice“ contestant Richard Hatch.
“These vicious claims about me of inappropriate conduct with women are totally and absolutely false,” Trump said during a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday. “We already have substantial evidence to dispute these lies, and it will be made public in an appropriate way and at an appropriate time, very soon.”
To hear more on the allegations, watch the video below.
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