In North Philly, Michelle Obama Rips Trump’s Demeanor

Michelle Obama, the latest Clinton campaign surrogate to stump at a college campus, attacked Donald Trump in a speech at La Salle today.

Michelle Obama speaking at the Tom Gola Arena at La Salle University

Attendees at a Hillary Clinton campaign rally take photos of Michelle Obama as the first lady speaks. | Photo by Dan McQuade

Michelle Obama came to Philadelphia, and went in on Donald Trump.

“Being president is not anything like reality TV,” said the first lady. “It is not an apprenticeship. … It is about whether someone can handle the awesome responsibility of running this country.”

Earlier in her speech at La Salle University’s Tom Gola Arena, she attacked his temperament: “A president just can’t pop off or lash out irrationally. No, we need an adult in the White House.” Behind her, the Clinton campaign had put up a sign quoting Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention: “When they go low — we go high.” With Trump’s repetition of his attack on the weight of a Miss Universe winner in a post-presidential debate interview, the Clinton campaign is very clearly trying to pitch Trump’s rhetoric as un-presidential and unelectable.

“People had all kind of questions of what kind of president Barack would be,” Michelle Obama said. “Things like: Does he really understand us? And will he protect us? And then, of course, people questioned and continued to question for the past eight years whether the president was even born in this country. And they said hurtful, deceitful questions deliberately designed to undermine his presidency. Questions that cannot be blamed on others or swept under the rug by an insincere sentence at a press conference.”

Donald Trump was long a birther who said he wasn’t convinced Barack Obama was born in the United States; he held a press conference earlier this month to promote his new Washington, D.C., hotel. At the end, he admitted that President Obama was born in the United States and claimed he was the one who put the issue to bed.

“As someone who has seen the presidency up close and personal, let me share with you what I’ve learned about this job — lessons that seem even more relevant, even more critical and important now,” she said. “First and foremost, this job is hard. It is the highest-stakes, most 24/7 job you can possibly imagine. The issues that cross a president’s desk are never easy, and solutions to persistent systemic challenges are never black and white.”

Michelle Obama’s appearance was just one in many attempts by the Clinton campaign to appeal to younger voters in the Philadelphia area.

The Clinton campaign has sent Hillary or a surrogate to four different Philadelphia colleges this month. Clinton gave a direct address to millennial voters at Temple on September 19th. Actress Elizabeth Banks appeared at Penn’s LGBT Center on Monday, while Joe Biden went to Drexel yesterday and ripped Donald Trump’s debate performance.

Judging by the noise the crowd at the Tom Gola Arena made on Wednesday, Obama may have been the most successful — though a large portion of the noise came from a group of students from Girls High in Philadelphia who made the short walk from Broad to 20th and Olney for the event. (With all the young people in the audience, there were more phones in the air taking photos than at any of these other events.)

Obama was introduced by Ludmille Glaude, a La Salle junior who emigrated from Haiti.