Michelle Obama Says Trump's Rigged Election Talk Threatens 'Idea of America'

Trump's "vision for our country is ... utterly lacking in hope," said Obama.

ByABC News
October 20, 2016, 7:16 PM

— -- First Lady Michelle Obama slammed Donald Trump today in Arizona, a state that has not voted for a Democrat since 1996 but polling shows is in play for Hillary Clinton.

"We have a candidate whose vision for our country is completely and utterly lacking in hope," she said of Trump, the Republican presidential nominee. "A candidate who tells us that our country is desperate and weak, that our communities are in chaos, that our fellow citizens are a threat, a candidate who calls on us to turn against each other, to build walls, to be afraid."

The first lady never directly mentioned the word "debate" or "Trump" during her remarks, but she had a lot to say about both at a rally that drew 7,000 people, according to the Clinton campaign.

The first lady told the enthusiastic crowd that when they hear people say the election is rigged, “understand that they are trying to get you to stay home."

"They are trying to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter that the outcome has already been determined and you shouldn’t even bother to make your voice heard,” she continued, adding that the U.S. democracy is revered around the world and free elections are the best way to choose leaders. "The voters decide who wins and loses, period, end of story, and when a presidential candidate threatens to ignore our voices and reject the outcome of this election he is threatening the very idea of America itself and we cannot stand for that. You do not keep American democracy in suspense."

When Trump was asked at Wednesday's debate if he will accept the outcome of the election, and if he loses, concede to the winner, he refused to say. "I'll keep you in suspense, OK?" Trump told debate moderator Chris Wallace.

Contending that Trump "comes from a different place," the first lady worked today to contrast the billionaire's upbringing against the life experience of Clinton, herself and President Barack Obama.

"I don't know. Perhaps living life high up in a tower in a world of exclusive clubs, measuring success by wins and losses, the number of zeroes in your bank account, perhaps you just develop a different set of values," she said.

The first lady reminded voters that her husband lost Arizona in 2012 by 208,000 votes, acknowledging "that's OK" but pressing the crowd that the election is much closer this year.

"If you vote for someone other than Hillary or if you don't vote at all then you are helping to elect her opponent. So I want you all to think about that for a minute. Think about how you’ll feel waking up on Nov. 9 if that happens. Imagine how you’ll feel if you stay at home."

Discussing her speech in New Hampshire last week where she attacked Trump for his language and alleged actions toward women, Michelle Obama said her office has been inundated with thousands of letters and emails from "women of all ages finding the courage to stand up and tell their stories ... speaking out for the values of decency and respect that we all hold dear.”

The first lady urged Arizona voters to not just thank her for last week's moving speech but to do something about it.

"Don't just tweet about my speech last week. If you like that speech, then go vote. If you want to stand up for yourself and your fellow Americans then go vote. If you want to get Hillary elected, vote.”