Michelle Obama: Birther movement against Barack was hurtful and deceitful

She said Americans 'needed an adult in the White House'

Rachael Revesz
New York
Wednesday 28 September 2016 18:43 BST
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Ms Obama held up her hand and said: 'Let me take a moment' as she recalled eight years' worth of questioning
Ms Obama held up her hand and said: 'Let me take a moment' as she recalled eight years' worth of questioning

Michelle Obama has spoken out against Donald Trump after the first presidential debate, saying that Americans “need an adult in the White House” and has condemned his peddling of the racist birther lies.

Speaking in Pennsylvania on the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton, Ms Obama called out the people who have spent eight years questioning whether her husband, Barack Obama, was born in the US.

"And let me say, hurtful, deceitful questions, deliberately designed to undermine his presidency," she said. "Questions that cannot be blamed on others or swept under the rug by an insincere sentence uttered at a press conference.

"Let me take a moment.

"But during his time in office, I think Barack has answered these questions by the example he has set, with the dignity he has shown by going high when they go low."

Her speech comes two days after Ms Clinton and Mr Trump went head-to-head for the first time in what has become a bitterly divided and increasingly aggressive presidential campaign.

Mr Trump pointed to the former head of the 2008 Clinton campaign, Patti Solis Doyle, who was accused of admitting that a campaign ally pushed the birther conspiracy rumours.

Ms Doyle said after the debate that the claims were "absurd" and said she never sent a reporter to Kenya to look for the president’s birth certificate.

'All of Donald Trump's political activity stems back to 'racist birther lie'

Mr Trump continued to insist the president was not born in the US as recently as September, despite his own campaign publicly disagreeing with his theory.

The Republican backed down from the conspiracy on 16 September during a speech in Washington DC.

"Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it, you know what I mean.

"President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again."

In Pennsylvania, the same day Bernie Sanders was also set to speak in support of Ms Clinton, Ms Obama continued: "We need someone who will take the job seriously, someone who will study and prepare so that they understand the issues better than anyone else on their team.

"And we need someone with superb judgement in their own right.

"Because a president can hire the best advisers on earth, but I guarantee you that five advisers will give five different opinions, and it is the president, and the president alone, who always has to make the final call.

"We also need someone who is steady and measured. Because when making life or death, war or peace decisions, a president can’t just pop out or lash out irrationally. No, we need an adult in the White House."

She added that Ms Clinton, after being a lawyer, first lady, senator and secretary of state, is more qualified to be president than anyone else in history, including her husband or Bill Clinton.

"And yes, she is a woman," she added, to loud applause.

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