PHILADELPHIA—First Lady Michelle Obama worked to combat millennial apathy for Hillary Clinton here on Wednesday while condemning Donald Trump for his debate performance.
“When I hear people saying they don’t feel inspired in this election, I must disagree,” Obama argued in front of a diverse crowd of primarily young people at LaSalle University.
“Hillary has been a lawyer, a law professor, first lady of Arkansas, first lady of the United States, a U.S. senator, secretary of state,” she listed, “That’s why I’m inspired by Hillary.”
While Clinton leads Trump confidently among younger voters in most polls, recent surveys show that she is lagging far behind the levels of support President Barack Obama had during his two presidential runs. Many in the key voting block are attracted to third party candidates such as Libertarian Gary Johnson.
The first lady pointedly addressed millennials who were considering staying home or casting a “protest vote” for a third-party candidate on Election Day. “You are helping to elect Hillary’s opponent,” she warned.
In contrast to some of Clinton’s high powered surrogates used to woo younger voters such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Obama dedicated much of her speech to sell a pro-Clinton message instead of a dominant anti-Trump theme.
“Experience matters, preparation matters, temperament matters. Hillary Clinton has it all,” she said.
Still, the first lady took plenty of shots at Trump without ever mentioning his name.
Michelle Obama used the business mogul’s remarks from Monday’s presidential debate about possibly avoiding federal taxes and benefitting from the housing bubble burst of 2008 to warn potential voters.
“If a candidate thinks that not paying taxes makes you smart, or that it’s good business when people lose their homes...That’s the kind of president they will be,” she cautioned.
The first lady also made sure to bring up years of Trump asserting that her husband, President Barack Obama, was not born in the United States.
“There are those who questioned and continue to question for the past eight years whether my husband was even born in this country,” she said.
“Let me say, hurtful deceitful questions deliberately designed to undermine his presidency…cannot be blamed on others or swept under the rug by an insincere sentence uttered at a press conference,” Michelle Obama said.