Michelle Obama torches Donald Trump: 'You do not keep American democracy in suspense'

Michelle ObamaRalph Freso/Getty ImagesFirst Lady Michelle Obama speaks at an Arizona Democratic Party Early Vote rally in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine on October 20, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Michelle Obama tore into Donald Trump on Thursday over his assertion that he would only accept the outcome of the election if he wins.

The first lady also slammed Trump for his claims that the election is “rigged,” an assertion for which the GOP presidential candidate has offered no evidence.

Obama told a crowd at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, that such claims are meant “to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter … that you shouldn’t even bother to make your voice heard.”

“They are trying to take away your hope,” she said.

At the final debate between Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton Wednesday night, Trump said that he would “keep you in suspense” about how he may respond to the end of the November 8 election. On Thursday morning, he said he would only accept the outcome if he wins.

Obama challenged Trump’s rhetoric:

“Our Democracy is revered around the world … free elections are the best way on Earth to choose our leaders. This is how we elected John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, two George Bushes, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. When a presidential candidate threatens to ignore our voices and reject the outcome of this election, he is threatening the very idea of America itself.”

Republicans and Democrats have rebuked Trump for his comments, including 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, who said Americans should “respect the decision of the majority even when we disagree with it. Especially when we disagree with it.”

Mrs. Obama closed her remarks addressing Trump directly: “You do not keep American Democracy in suspense … too many people have marched and protested and fought and died for this democracy.”

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