Former first lady Michelle Obama launched a blistering attack on President Donald Trump on Monday and urged Americans to elect Democrat Joe Biden in November to end the chaos she said had been created during the four years of Trump’s presidency.
In an impassioned speech capping the first night of the Democratic National Convention, Obama said the Republican Trump “has had enough time to prove that he can do the job” but had failed to meet the moment in a country reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, economic turmoil and racial injustice.
“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, calling him “the wrong president” for the United States.
“He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is,” Obama said. “If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don’t make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it.”
Obama, whose husband, Barack Obama, was in the White House when Biden was vice president from 2009-2017, capped a long parade of speakers, including some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, who gathered online to make the case for Biden at the start of his four-day nominating convention.
The harsh takedown by Michelle Obama, regularly cited in polls as one of the most popular figures in the Democratic Party, could generate the sort of voter enthusiasm some Democrats thought a virtual convention might lack.
The convention opened amid widespread worries about the safety of voting in November because of the pandemic. Democrats have pushed voting by mail as a safe alternative, but Trump without evidence has proclaimed it is prone to fraud and blocked emergency aid for the U.S. Postal Service to limit mail-in voting.