Former first lady Michelle Obama launched a scathing attack on President Donald Trump on the first night of the Democratic National Convention on Monday, calling him the “wrong president” for the country and urging Americans to elect Joe Biden in November to end the chaos created by Trump’s presidency.
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“Whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy,” Obama said, adding Trump was “over his head” as president.
“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, whose husband Barack Obama was president when Biden was vice president from 2009-2017, capped a long parade of speakers, including some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, who made the case for Biden at the start of his four-day nominating convention.
Former rival Bernie Sanders and prominent Republican John Kasich said Biden’s steady approach to problems was needed to confront the coronavirus pandemic, economic woes and racial injustice.
The convention featured discussions with voters who described their struggles confronting the virus and coping with the slumping economy and healthcare.
Kristin Urquiza, who lost her father to COVID-19, blamed Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic for his death.
The convention opened amid widespread worries about the safety of voting in November because of the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats have pushed mail-in ballots as a safe alternative, but fear it could be hindered by cost cuts at the Postal Service that, under Louis DeJoy, a top Trump donor, have led to delays in mail service.
The convention also highlighted a call for a broad racial reckoning over systemic racism and police brutality amid protests that broke out after the death of African American George Floyd in Minnesota under the knee of a white policeman.
Speaking from Houston, Floyd’s brother Philonise Floyd introduced a moment of silence and honoured other Black victims of police violence.
A video showed Biden speaking virtually with activists and officials around the country about ways to battle racism.