Former First Lady Michelle Obama had some pretty harsh words for President Trump and his administration while speaking at a tech conference in Utah, causing people to clap loudly and nod in agreement.
On Trump’s doctrine, “America First,” she said: “It isn’t just us first,” “We live in a big country and a big world. … You can’t just want to help someone in a hurricane and not make sure they can go to the doctor when they’re sick.”
By this, she was referring to the irony of giving people immediate disaster assistance but then taking their healthcare away just a few weeks later.
Currently, Republicans are trying to force throw the passage of a Graham-Cassidy bill, termed Trumpcare 3.0, which would allow states to strip away protections for pre-existing conditions and services like maternity care. It will also allow insurers to charge more for past medical conditions, causing people with cancer to pay exceedingly high monthly premiums, which experts say will make it unaffordable for them.
The energy in the room was so great as she spoke that one woman even stood up and suggested that Michelle run for president herself. But, she immediately dismissed the idea.
“Oh no! That’s still shocking. Like what? Are you kidding me? No,” Obama said. “No, running for office is nowhere on the radar screen but continuing in public service is something I will do for the rest of my life.”
During the conference, Michelle also spoke highly of the importance of employing women in tech, another subtle dig at Trump who just recently nominated 42 federal U.S. attorneys. Out of the total, only one was a woman.
“You can’t just say you want to fix the problems, you have to mean it,” Obama said. “If a bunch of white guys are sitting around the table trying to get more women involved, they’re not going to come up with the answer.”
She also used the occasion to lightly make fun of her husband, who sometimes has a habit of watching Sports Center.
“You can’t hire women and then they come in and they’re working for chimps. No offense — you guys aren’t all chimps,” Obama said to laughs from the crowd. “I call my husband a chimp sometimes, especially when he’s watching the Sports Center. I’m like ‘Come on. Look at you. You’re an animal.’”
Before leaving the event with a standing ovation, she said her and Barack’s main focus was uplifting others at this point. Their time in the public spotlight may have passed, but that doesn’t mean their mission was complete. The next generation was what was most important to them.
“What Barack and I don’t want to be is the people that won’t go away. We want to help the next generation come up and take our seats.”