Former first lady Michelle Obama is no stranger to advocating for what she believes in. Obama has been especially vocal in her call for Americans to vote in the 2020 election, and she’s been endorsing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden all the way. In her most recent comments, Obama has called out President Donald Trump for his leadership style, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. With Election Day just a few weeks away, these Michelle Obama quotes about Donald Trump give you a very good idea where the former first lady stands.
The history between the Obamas and President Trump has been a tense one. Before Trump took office in January 2017, where he’s repeatedly criticized President Barack Obama's eight-year presidency, he peddled the birtherism conspiracy. As far back as 2011, Trump repeated claims that Barack Obama was not born in the United States, when in fact he was born in Hawaii. In September 2016, per NPR, Trump finally relented, saying at one of his presidential campaign events in Washington, "President Obama was born in the United States. Period." More recently, Trump criticized the former first lady for pre-taping her 2020 DNC speech and said Obama was "in over her head."
With Trump's previous comments, it's no wonder Obama hasn't held back on calling out Trump:
Trump’s Comments About Women
One of Obama’s final events as first lady came in October 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire. After discussing her Let Girls Learn initiative about helping girls know their worth, she turned to discussing Trump. "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," she said at the time.
"The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for President of the United States who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today. And last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women," she continued. "This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women."
At the time of the Access Hollywood tape release in October 2016, Trump denied, and still denies, and allegations of sexual assault — and he initially called the tape "locker room banter," saying he "apologize[d] if anyone was offended."
In her November 2018 book, Becoming, Obama described Trump’s campaign to discredit her husband’s citizenship as "mean-spirited," with "its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed." She continued, "What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls?" Obama wrote. "Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him." At the time, Trump dismissed Obama's comments as a tactic to sell books.
In a July 2019 Essence Festival interview, Obama revealed she was "very emotional" at Trump’s inauguration, and felt out of place. "[To] sit at that inauguration and to look around at a crowd that was not reflective of the country, and I had to sit in that audience as one of the handfuls of people of color ... and it was a lot emotionally," she said.
"What saddens me is what [the Trump administration is] doing to the country as a whole."
Trump’s Leadership Style
Obama closed the first night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention on Aug. 17 with a video address. She wasted no time getting to what she considers the heart of the problem with Trump. "Whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy," she said.
Trump’s Presidential Tenure
In that same DNC speech, Obama called Trump "the wrong president for our country." She continued, "He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us."
Trump’s Coronavirus Response
Taking on Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic in her DNC address, she said, "Today, more Americans have died from this virus than have died in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, and Korea combined. Take all those lives bravely sacrificed and double it. That is roughly the scale of this tragedy." She continued, "Our commander in chief, sadly, has been missing in action. And his willful mismanagement of the COVID crisis is just one example of his negligence."
As of Oct. 13, the United States has recorded nearly 8 million cases of COVID-19 as well as mover than 215,000 deaths caused by the virus. Trump revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus on Oct. 2.
Trump dismissed Obama's DNC speech in two tweets following its airing, sarcastically thanking Obama for her "kind words," and leveling unproven allegations against the Obama administration.
Trump’s Response To Black Lives Matter
In an Oct. 6 video on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's campaign website titled, "Michelle Obama's Closing Argument | Joe Biden For President 2020," Obama addressed Trump's response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
"The President and his allies are trying to ... distract from his breathtaking failures by giving folks someone to blame other than them," she said. "They're stoking fears about Black and Brown Americans, lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs, whipping up violence and intimidation — and they're pinning it all on what's been an overwhelmingly peaceful movement for racial solidarity." She concluded, "Racism, fear, division, these are powerful weapons, and they can destroy this nation if we don't deal with them head on."
It's clear Obama diverges with Trump's ideas on many matters, so you can expect the former first lady to continue speaking out against the current occupant of the Oval Office as Election Day nears.