I am so thrilled to be with you all here today in New Hampshire. This is like home to me, and thank you for a beautiful fall day.
I can’t believe it’s just a few weeks before Election Day as we come together to support the next President and Vice President of the United States, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
This week has been particularly interesting for me personally because it has been a week of profound contrast.
See, on Tuesday at the White House, we celebrated the International Day of the Girl and Let Girls Learn, and it was a wonderful celebration.
It was the last event that I’m going to be doing as First Lady for Let Girls Learn, and I had the pleasure of spending hours talking to some of the most amazing young women you will ever meet: young girls here in the U.S. and all around the world.
See, because many of these girls have faced unthinkable obstacles just to attend school, jeopardizing their personal safety, their freedom, risking the rejection of their families and communities.
That was Tuesday. And now here I am out on the campaign trail in an election where we have consistently been hearing hurtful, hateful language about women.
Language that has been painful for so many of us, not just as women, but as parents trying to protect our children and raise them to be caring, respectful adults, and as citizens who think our nation’s leaders should meet basic standards of human decency.
I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for President of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.
And 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.
It’s not something that we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. Because this was not just a lewd conversation.
It wasn’t just locker room banter. This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behavior and actually bragging about kissing and groping women, using language so obscene that many of us were worried about our children hearing it when we turn on the TV.
And I have to tell you that I listen to all of this, and I feel it so personally.
And I’m sure that many of you do, too, particularly the women. The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect.
Too many are treating this as just another day’s headline. As if our outrage is overblown or unwarranted.