First lady Michelle Obama on Thursday (Oct. 27) joined Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail for the first time, encouraging voters in the crucial battleground state of North Carolina to cast their ballots early.
“If Hillary doesn’t win this election, that will be on us. It will be because we did not stand with her. It will be because we did not vote for her,” Mrs. Obama told an enthusiastic crowd in Winston-Salem.
North Carolina is one of a handfull of swing states expected to play a decisive role in who goes to the White House.
Clinton has been warning her supporters against complacency as opinion polls show her holding a clear lead over Republican rival Donald Trump ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
Trump has recently dug deeper in his efforts to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the U.S. election, saying on Twitter that he believed the results were being “rigged” at many polling places.
“When you hear folks talking about a ‘global conspiracy’ and saying that this election is rigged, understand that they are trying to get you to stay home,” Mrs. Obama told supporters at her first join rally with Clinton. “They are trying to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter; that the outcome has already been determined and you shouldn’t even bother making your voice heard,” she said.
The first lady, a powerful campaigner for Clinton, is one of many high-profile surrogate campaigners helping the former U.S. Secretary of State in the final two weeks of the race.
“If people wonder, yes, Hillary Clinton is my friend,” Mrs. Obama said. “I am grateful for Hillary, for her leadership, for her courage and for what she is going to do for this country,” she said.
“Michelle reminds us to work hard, stay true to our values, be good to one another, and never ever stop fighting for what we believe in,” Clinton told the crowd when introducing the first lady.
“It hasn’t been all hard work. She played a mean round of car pool karaoke. And among the many real privileges I’ve had is to see the president and the first lady dance. One could only hope,” she said, to applause.