In a new plea to vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the upcoming election, former first lady Michelle Obama, who has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration over recent months, sharply criticized the president for “incompetence” on all fronts, detailing everything from his response to the coronavirus pandemic to his handling of Black Lives Matter protests to his alleged disparaging of the country’s military as a “breathtaking failure.”
In a 25-minute long “closing argument” video posted to social media by Obama on Tuesday morning, weeks before Election Day, the former first lady slammed Trump for creating “chaos” in the United States, starting with his response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which over the past week has infected Trump and many in his orbit.
Other countries were hit by the same virus as the U.S., Obama said, “but what they didn’t have to contend with was this president, a man who had every resource at his disposal, the finest medical experts, our best intelligence and yet ignored all the advice and failed to produce a plan.”
“Today, more Americans have died from this virus than died in the wars of Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Korea combined,” she continued, accusing the commander in chief of being “missing in action.”
However, Obama broadened the attack to other recent challenges faced by the country, including the wildfires raging across the West Coast and months of anti-racism protests sparked by the May 25 death of George Floyd, accusing the president of racism.
“They’re stoking fears among Black and brown American, 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,” said Obama, adding: “What the president is doing is once again patently false, it’s morally wrong and yes, it’s racist.”
Obama may hold considerable sway with voters, having touted consistently high popularity ratings while she and former President Barack Obama were in the White House, leaving with 68% favorability—10 points higher than her husband.
“The one thing this president is really, really good at is using fear and confusion and spreading lies to win,” said Obama. “When people hear these lies and crazy conspiracies repeated over and over again, they don’t know what to think. Even reasonable people might get scared.”
Obama, who before this election cycle entered its final stages offered her opinion on the president less directly, has become a harsh and vocal critic of Trump. In an August speech at the Democratic National Convention, Obama accused Trump of being “clearly in over his head” and “the wrong president for our country.” However, Tuesday’s critique appears to be the former first lady’s most damning condemnation to date.