Trump celebrates women's rights -- and attacks Michelle Obama
Posted August 18, 2020 10:36 a.m. EDT
CNN — At an event aimed at highlighting the 100th anniversary of women's right to vote, President Donald Trump disparaged the country's most admired woman, Michelle Obama as "over her head" after she delivered a scathing, direct-to-camera speech criticizing him at the Democratic National Convention Monday.
"Well she's in over her head, and frankly, she should've made the speech live, which she didn't do," he said Tuesday when asked his reaction to Obama's remarks, calling her speech "extremely divisive" before quickly pivoting to talk about drug pricing.
Obama has frequently topped the list of the nation's most admired women and left office with a 69% favorability rating.
Obama issued a strong rebuke of the Trump administration, and Trump personally, in her 19-minute taped remarks.
"He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us," she said, before invoking Trump's response when asked about lives lost from coronavirus in the country: "It is what it is."
During the Tuesday event, Trump commemorated the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the women's right to vote, by pardoning women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony.
"Later today, I will be signing a full and complete pardon for Susan B. Anthony. She was never pardoned," he said during remarks in the Blue Room.
Anthony was tried and found guilty of voting in the 1872 presidential election
He said the pardon was being prepared "right now" and would be signed later Tuesday.
The President has repeatedly appealed to what he calls the "suburban housewife" in his efforts to court the key voting block of suburban White women, with fearmongering about fair housing laws meant to combat segregation in recent weeks. He's also resorted to racist and sexist tropes to describe presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
Asked to clarify his perception of the suburban women voter Tuesday, Trump again used the word "housewife," though most suburban women work.
"I view it very strongly that the suburban voter, the suburban housewife, women -- and men -- living in the suburbs, they want security and they want safety," he said.
Trump also touted pre-pandemic women's employment levels and said it would be higher.
"As we fight to deliver a better future for all women and for all Americans, we remember the wonderful victory one century ago," Trump said before signing a proclamation commemorating a century of the women's right to vote.
Trump also touted the accomplishments of suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton and called the ratification of the 19th Amendment a "monumental victory for equality and justice," touting the number of women serving in Congress, attending college, voting, and business owners
"In other words, women dominate the United States," Trump said.