First Lady Michelle Obama Rallies For Hillary Clinton In Phoenix

By Mark Brodie, Will Stone
Published: Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 2:20pm
Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016 - 6:01pm
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(Photo by Will Stone - KJZZ)
Michelle Obama takes the stage in Phoenix on Oct. 20, 2016.

Michelle Obama urged Arizonans to rally as many volunteers and votes for Hillary Clinton in the final weeks before the election.

On Thursday, the First Lady spoke to a crowd of nearly 7,000 supporters at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Michelle Obama is the latest in a string of high profile democrats visiting what’s often a securely red state. Bernie Sanders and Chelsea Clinton were both in Arizona this week, stumping for Clinton.

Some observers are saying Arizona could vote Democratic in a presidential election for the first time since 1996; the RealClearPolitics average shows Clinton up by a little more than a point here over Republican Donald Trump. The Clinton campaign hopes to widen the gap.

Michelle Obama criticized Trump for saying the election could be compromised.

“He is threatening the very idea of America itself, and we cannot stand for that. You do not keep American democracy in suspense,” Obama said. “When you hear people talking about a global conspiracy and saying this election is rigged, understand they are trying to get you to stay home. They are trying to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.”

In Wednesday night’s debate, Trump said he would keep voters “in suspense” about whether or not he will accept the results of the election.

Michelle Obama also emphasized that Arizona could go from a traditionally red state to a blue one this year.

She said Barack Obama lost Arizona by 208,000 votes in 2012.

“If 63 people in each precinct had gone the other way Barack would have won Arizona, but this year we know it’s much closer in this state. That’s why I am here,” Obama said.

In response to her visit, the Trump campaign put out a statement saying Hillary had not been to Arizona for months and is “phoning it in” by sending Michelle Obama.

Judy Register has lived in Arizona for much of her life and hopes this election indicates the state is becoming more liberal. 

“This is unlike any other time in those thirty five years that I have felt this kind of excitement about the possibility of Arizona going blue," Register said.

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