Michelle Obama issued a powerful rebuke of Donald Trump on Thursday, calling on men and women alike to reject his "intolerable" misogyny and his boasting about being able to sexually assault women because he is famous.
"Too many are treating this as just another day's headline, as if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted, as if this is normal — just politics as usual," the first lady said during a rally in New Hampshire, referring to Trump's 2005 words of being about to grab women "by the pussy" and kiss them against their will. "But New Hampshire, let's be clear, this is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable — it doesn't matter what party you belong to, no woman deserves to be treated this way."
Obama's voice broke as she forcefully condemned his words, saying electing Trump as president would send the wrong message to children — boys and girls alike.
"What do you think this is doing to our children?" Obama said. "What messages are our little girls hearing about how they should look, how they should act? What lessons are they learning of their value as professionals and human beings, about their dreams and aspirations? And how is this affecting men and boys in this country?"
She went on to appeal not only to women voters, but also to male voters who have dismissed Trump and his surrogates' claims that his words about groping and kissing women without consent was just "locker room talk."
"This was not just a lewd conversation. This wasn't locker room banter," Obama said. "This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior, and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us are worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV."
The crowd cheered Obama as her voice broke with anger while she recalled Trump's words and behavior.
Aside from attacking Trump, Obama gave a spirited endorsement of Hillary Clinton, saying the former secretary of state is the only candidate who can unite the country.
"She has been successful in every role. She's more experienced ... [for] the presidency than any candidate in our lifetime, more than Barack, more than Bill, and, yes, she happens to be a woman."
Clinton has already opened up a wide lead over Trump in the polls, buoyed by women voters — who are rejecting Trump's candidacy in massive numbers.
Obama's speech could help that yawning gap grow.