Seeking to capitalize on the sputtering campaign of Donald Trump, which has thrust some reliably Republican states into contention this election season, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is deploying Thursday one of her most effective surrogates on the campaign trail in Arizona.
First Lady Michelle Obama, who has forcibly denounced Trump for comments in which he bragged about sexually assaulting women, will speak at a rally in Phoenix at 5:00 p.m. EDT. You can watch a live stream of the event right here.
The rally comes on the heels of Wednesday night’s debate in which Trump appeared to do little to right the capsizing ship of his candidacy. During the 90-minute long final debate, Clinton appeared poised and firm, mocking Trump for his business record that includes several bankruptcies, his history as an entertainer on “The Apprentice” while she was in the situation room on the team that ultimately authorized the killing of Osama Bin Laden, and his doting endorsement of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s leadership capabilities.
“That’s because [Putin would] rather have a puppet as president of the United States,” she needled at one point, calling on her Republican counterpart to denounce Russian hackers interfering in the 2016 election.
Trump took the bait: “You’re the puppet.”
Clinton repeatedly provoked defensive interruptions from Trump. At one point, when discussing Trump’s recent claims that the election is “rigged,” Clinton suggested that her opponent has an inability to accept not winning, noting that he was upset when “The Apprentice” didn’t win an Emmy one year.
“I should have gotten it,” he said.
Obama is likely to attack Trump for his treatment of women, an issue that has proven to be one of the most damaging to the Republican’s campaign. The first lady’s recent response to a 2005 video tape showing Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women released earlier this month has become one of the most recognizable moments of the 2016 election season.
“This is not normal,” Obama said days after during an at-times emotional speech in New Hampshire for Clinton. “This is not politics as usual."
"Strong men don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful,” she said later in that speech.
Clinton trails Trump in Arizona by just 0.7 points, according to an average of polls compiled by Real Clear Politics.