First lady fires at Trump

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Michelle Obama ripped into Donald Trump in a commencement address in New York on Friday, criticizing the presumptive GOP presidential nominee for his name-calling and what she described as a fear of outsiders that is un-American. 

“Here in America, we don’t give into our fears. We don’t build up walls to keep people out, because we know that our greatness has always depended on contributions from people who were born elsewhere but sought out this country and made it their home,” the first lady said, without mentioning Trump by name, in an address at The City College of New York.

{mosads}”Some folks out there today seem to have a very different perspective,” Obama continued. “They seem to view our diversity as a threat to be contained rather than as a resource to be tapped. They tell us to be afraid of those who are different, to be suspicious of those with whom we disagree.

“They act as if name-calling is an acceptable substitute for thoughtful debate, as if anger and intolerance should be our default state, rather than the optimism and openness that have always been the engine of our progress,” she said. 

“I have seen what happens when ideas like these take hold. I have seen how leaders who rule by intimidation, leaders who demonize and dehumanize entire groups of people, often do so because they have nothing else to offer,” she said. “That is not who we are.”

The comments marked a rare entry into 2016 politics by the first lady, who raised her voice during the latter remarks as she spoke over applause from the crowd. 

They were also notable coming one day after Hillary Clinton launched a full-out assault on Trump in a speech that had been billed as a foreign policy address.

President Obama also criticized Trump publicly on Wednesday during a speech in Indiana. 

The trio of speeches is a preview of the onslaught of attacks Trump likely faces as the general election gets closer.

So far, White House attacks on Trump have been relatively low-key, in part because of the Democratic primary contest between Clinton and Bernie Sanders. 

Tags 2016 presidential election Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Michelle Obama

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