- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2016

First lady Michelle Obama blasted Republican nominee Donald Trump Thursday as a sexual predator, saying his lewd comments about women have “shaken me to my core.”

“A candidate for president of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women,” Mrs. Obama said in Manchester, N.H. “This was not just a lewd conversation. This wasn’t locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior.”

She told the audience at a Hillary Clinton campaign rally, “I have to tell you that I can’t stop thinking about this. It has shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted.”

Mrs. Obama said voters must reject Mr. Trump because of his attitudes toward women.

“It’s not how decent human beings behave and this is certainly not how someone who wants to be president of the United States behaves,” she said. “Because let’s be very clear, strong men, strong men, men who are truly role models, don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful.”

It was her first extensive public remarks about the 2005 video of Mr. Trump claiming he could grab women because he is a celebrity. Mr. Trump has apologized for his comments and insists he has never sexually assaulted a woman. Mrs. Obama said “it would be dishonest and disingenuous for me to move on to the next thing like this was just a bad dream.”

“This is not something we can ignore. It’s not something we can sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season,” she said. “This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. Doesn’t matter what party you belong to. No woman deserves to be treated this way. No one deserves this kind of abuse. I know it’s a campaign, but this isn’t about politics.”

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