On Thursday, we told you about first lady Michelle Obama’s fiery denunciation (though not by name) of Donald Trump’s 2005 description of the liberties he would take with women.
Two speeches. Two Americas. A pair of apocalyptic arguments and one call to burn down the house. That’s the summation from just two remarkable hours Thursday that crystallized the final month of Campaign 2016.
In back-to-back appearances, in what might be the two most compelling hours of the entire election, Michelle Obama in New Hampshire and Donald Trump in Florida delivered the fiercest, most provocative and hardest-hitting speeches of an election cycle that has been without precedent in hot rhetoric.
A reminder of what Michelle Obama said at her appearance for Hillary Clinton:
“I have to tell you that I listen to all of this and I feel it so personally, and I’m sure that many of you do, too, particularly the women. The shameful comments about our bodies. The disrespect of our ambitions and intellect. The belief that you can do anything you want to a woman. It is cruel. It’s frightening. And the truth is, it hurts.”
You can listen to the entirety of Trump’s speech here. At about the six-minute mark, the Republican begins his trek into some frightening territory – emphasis ours:
“It’s a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth, and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.
“Just look at what this establishment has done to our cities like Detroit, Flint, Mich., and rural towns in Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and all across our country. Take a look at what’s going on.
“They’ve stripped away these towns bare, and raided the wealth for themselves, and taken our jobs away, out of our country, never to return – unless I’m elected president.
“The Clinton machine is at the center of this power structure. We’ve seen this first-hand in the Wikileaks documents, in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors.”
The crowd roared, “Lock her up!” as Trump walked away from the lectern – and then returned. “Honestly, she should be locked up,” he said.
Erick Erickson, the WSB Radio provocateur, #NeverTrump enthusiast, and seminary student, has written a break-up letter directed at the Christian Right:
“To be clear, when I say Christian Right, I mean the political organizations that agitate for Christian values in Washington, D.C., not the conservative Christians in America struggling through their lives. I do not mean the mission focused biblically based organizations spread across America. I mean the remnant of the Moral Majority, which still seeks to exercise influence on behalf of Christians in Washington, D.C.
“By your actions in Campaign 2016, you have harmed all of our witness. You have made it more difficult to save the lost and more difficult to protect the rights of faithful believers.
“You have dragged down the reputation of penitent heroes of the Bible to justify the sins of Donald Trump.”
Delta Air Lines has a problem. From the Washington Post:
Tamika Cross, a physician, was midway through a flight from Detroit to Minneapolis when a passenger emergency sent her into “doctor mode.”
Sometime after takeoff, a man two rows in front of her suddenly became unresponsive, she said, and flight attendants called for help.
Cross, an obstetrician and gynecologist, said she immediately flagged down one of the crew members, offering to treat the man…
“Oh no, sweetie, put [your] hand down,” Cross recalled the flight attendant saying. “We are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don’t have time to talk to you.”
Cross is black. She posted an account of her experience Sunday on Facebook, and has the airline sputtering apologies.
Well, that was awkward. The video below shows Republican National Committeeman Randy Evans assuring House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams that she has no "risk that Donald Trump is going to grope her" while one of your Insiders sat in between.
Evans' remarks, which led to some audible gasps from the Atlanta Press Club audience, came when moderator Bill Nigut asked him if Abrams was right to be concerned about Trump's treatment of women. Here's a transcript of what Evans said:
"No. First of all, I don’t think Stacey has any risk that Donald Trump is going to grope her. Because t hat’s not who he is. Having been in a room with him. It really is, whether we move to a gender, race, ethnicity-based division of the country, or we move toward a meritocracy."
Later, Evans praised former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as the model for a woman running for higher office:
"Her deal was I don't want to become the prime minister because I'm a woman. I want to become the prime minister because I'm the best person to lead this country ... My worry is that Hillary Clinton does for gender relations what Barack Obama does for race relations."
Bryan Long of the left-leaning Better Georgia advocacy group quickly pounced on Evans.
"It's disgusting that Randy Evans, a member of the RNC, would joke about Donald Trump's 2005 statements describing sexual assault," said Long. "His joke shows how out of touch Georgia Republicans are with the seriousness of these statements."
Our AJC colleague James Salzer has uncovered financial records that show the big-money campaign to defeat Gov. Nathan Deal's failing schools initiative is largely being bankrolled by the nation’s largest teachers union and its Georgia affiliate. From the top of his story:
Who is funding the advertising push to pass the proposal on next month’s ballot — Amendment 1 — isn’t quite as clear. That’s because a big chunk of the money has come from a fund set up by Deal’s supporters in such a way that it doesn’t have to disclose its donors. The Atlanta Journal Constitution, however, was able to dig up some of the donors to the fund.
In all, about $3.3 million had been raised by the end of the filing quarter, Sept. 30, by groups hoping to pass or defeat the Opportunity School District proposal in a campaign that has become a very personal political war between Deal and public school educators.
Our friend Tim Bryant, a morning host at WGAU (1380AM) in Athens, said he moderated a candidate forum in Oglethorpe County last night, and queried office-seekers about Amendment One on the Nov. 8 ballot – the proposal to permit the state to assume control of individual failing schools.
“Five candidates for school board, all five opposed to [Amendment One],” he wrote in an email. He polled the audience of more than 150, looking for a supporter. Bryant said he didn’t find one. Bryant also passed along this Thursday morning exchange with state Sen. Michael Williams, R-Cumming:
A partial transcript:
Bryant: You mentioned Amendment One. Where are you on that one?
Williams: On OSD?
Williams: I voted for that in session, to go ahead and pass that.
Bryant: So you voted to put it on the ballot, which is where it is now. Do you plan to vote for the amendment itself?
Williams: Uh, no.
Bryant: You’ve going to vote against it?
Bryant: Tell me why. What’s your opposition to the Opportunity School District proposal?
Williams: It’s more a local issue for me here. Here in Forsyth County we have some of the best schools in the state. I feel it’s important that we keep control of those schools. Even though I know the Opportunity School District will not come in and take over these schools, I just feel local control is extremely important.
Donald Trump's now former Georgia campaign manager is back and in good company.