Former first lady Michelle Obama told the people tuning into the first night of the 2020 Democratic National Convention that Donald Trump is the wrong president for the United States and urged the virtual audience to vote for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
“So if you take one thing from my words tonight, it is this: 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 said.
The former first lady delivered the culminating address of the first night of the convention, which features a number of key Democratic politicians, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Obama said that when President Barack Obama left office alongside Biden as vice president, the administration had created a record-breaking stretch of job creation and “secured the right to health care for 20,000,000 people.”
“Four years later, the state of this nation is very different. More than 150,000 people have died, and our economy is in shambles because of a virus that this president downplayed for too long. It has left millions of people jobless,” the former first lady said.
President Donald Trump had banned travel from China while Democrats in Congress were focused on impeachment. After the travel ban, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) encouraged people to come to San Francisco’s Chinatown. She later said she did so to “end the discrimination” against Asian Americans.
The Trump campaign, in a statement about the first night of the events, said that the “convention left out the fact that Joe Biden would raise taxes on more than 80 percent of Americans by at least $4 trillion.”
“Also missing was his open borders policy, with amnesty and work permits for 11 million illegal aliens. There was no mention of Joe Biden’s desire to cut police funding, kill ten million energy jobs with a green new deal, or give free healthcare to illegal aliens, but in fairness, it was only the first night,” Hogan Gidley, national press secretary for the Trump 2020 campaign, said in a statement.
“Democrats can try to conceal the dangerous truth with a Hollywood-produced infomercial, but they can’t hide the fact that the radical socialist leftist takeover of Joe Biden is complete.”
Like many of the other speakers on opening night, Obama devoted a significant portion of her speech to the issue of purported “systemic racism” in the United States.
“And when the horrors of systemic racism shook our country and our consciences, millions of Americans of every age, every background rose up to march for each other, crying out for justice and progress,” Obama said, referring to the wave of protests and violent riots which swept the nation in the wake of the police-custody death of George Floyd.
“This is who we still are: compassionate, resilient, decent people whose fortunes are bound up with one another. And it is well past time for our leaders to once again reflect our truth.”
The former first lady briefly touched on a set of debunked media narratives, including Trump’s selectively edited remarks on the violence in Charlottesville, the media spin about children in cages, and the use of crowd control munitions to disperse violent protesters near the White House.
“They see our leaders labeling fellow citizens enemies of the state while emboldening torch-bearing white supremacists. They watch in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages, and pepper spray and rubber bullets are used on peaceful protestors for a photo-op,” Obama said.
Rather than “emboldening torch-bearing white supremacists,” the president condemned racism and bigotry and said that both the groups supporting and opposing the removal of a confederate statue in Charlottesville included “good people.”
Much of the early “children in cages” narrative revolved around photos taken during the Obama administration. Like the Obama administration, the Trump administration detained child migrants, but neither administration did so in cages.
The former first lady also did not mention that the “peaceful protestors” had, according to Attorney General William Barr, injured 150 law enforcement officers prior to being dispersed with pepper spray and rubber bullets.
Obama’s speech was likely the most passionate of the night. She appealed to the voters on a personal level. She noted that she hates politics but is urging people to vote because she loves “this country with all my heart, and it pains me to see so many people hurting.”
In calling on people to vote for Biden, a career politician, Obama painted the former vice president as a man of the people because of the many loved ones he lost, including his wife, child, and later his older son, Beau.
“So Joe knows the anguish of sitting at a table with an empty chair, which is why he gives his time so freely to grieving parents,” Obama said.
“Now, Joe is not perfect. And he’d be the first to tell you that. But there is no perfect candidate, no perfect president.”