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Michelle Obama tore into Donald Trump on Thursday over his assertion that he would only accept the outcome of the election if he wins.
The first lady also slammed Trump for his claims that the election is “rigged,” an assertion for which the GOP presidential candidate has offered no evidence.
Obama told a crowd at a Hillary Clinton campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, that such claims are meant “to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter … and you shouldn’t even bother to make your voice heard.”
“They are trying to take away your hope,” she said.
During the final debate between Trump and Clinton Wednesday night, Trump said he would “keep you in suspense” about how he would respond to the result of the November 8 election. On Thursday morning, he said he would only accept the outcome if he wins.
Obama challenged Trump’s rhetoric:
“Our democracy is revered around the world, and free elections are the best way on earth to choose our leaders. This is how we elected John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, two George Bushes, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. … When a presidential candidate threatens to ignore our voices and reject the outcome of this election, he is threatening the very idea of America itself.”
Republicans and Democrats have rebuked Trump for his comments, including 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, who said Americans should “respect the decision of the majority even when we disagree with it. Especially when we disagree with it.”
Obama closed her remarks addressing Trump directly.
“You do not keep American democracy in suspense,” she said. “Too many people have marched and protested and fought and died for this democracy.”