Michelle Obama Campaigns for Clinton in Arizona, Blasts Trump’s Vision of ‘Hopelessness and Despair’

This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.

“The Closer” has arrived in Arizona.

Michelle Obama hit the campaign trail for Hillary Clinton in Phoenix, Arizona, on Thursday, where she slammed GOP nominee Donald Trump as a “candidate whose vision for our country is completely and utterly lacking in hope. A candidate who tells us that our country is desperate and weak, that our communities are in chaos, that our fellow citizens are a threat. A candidate who calls on us to turn against each other to build walls.”

“One candidate is offering a vision that is grounded in hopelessness and despair. A vision of a country riven by division and ruled by fear. A country where some folks get all the breaks and the rest of us are left behind,” she said of Trump.

The hopelessness many Americans are feeling as a result of an election season filled with “hateful, hurtful rhetoric” and is one of the reasons 2016 has been “so difficult for so many of us,” the first lady said.

“But fortunately there is another candidate in this race, who is offering a very different vision for this country,” she continued.

Obama went on to praise Clinton for offering a powerful and positive vision for America’s future, saying, “I have been reminded of the importance of hope. Because this is what hope looks like.”

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With her every sentence punctuated by applause from the crowd, Obama continued, “It’s that belief that we can be better, that we can do better for our kids. That even in our darkest hours, there’s always a brighter day ahead. And if we’re willing to work for it and fight for it, we can make it happen. Hope is what keeps our better angels alive.”

Traditionally Republican-leaning Arizona was considered a reach for Clinton, but a new poll — and the fact that the first lady, Bernie Sanders and Chelsea Clinton have all campaigned for the Democratic nominee in Arizona this week — suggests it could be a swing state in this election. The poll, conducted by The Arizona Republic, the Morrison Institute for Public Policy and Cronkite News, shows Clinton leading Trump by 5.1 points (just outside the poll’s 4.9 percent margin of error).

And as early voting is underway in the state, the Clinton campaign is putting another two million dollars of campaign ads on Arizona broadcast stations.

In another sign that Arizona could swing Clinton’s way in 2016, The Arizona Republic newspaper endorsed the former secretary of state in September, marking the first time in its 126-year history that it has endorsed a Democrat for president. The paper’s editorial board praised Clinton’s “cool head” and “steady hand,” while criticizing Trump’s “paper-thin promises” and “cynical appeal to the good old days.”

“When the president of the United States speaks, the world expects substance,” the board wrote. “Not a blistering tweet.”


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