U.S. President Barack Obama and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (not pictured) speak during a press conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 2, 2016. .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama slammed presidential nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday as “unfit” and “woefully unprepared” to serve as president of the United States, and called on Republicans to condemn and repudiate their party’s nominee.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Singapore’s prime minister, Obama said that Trump lacks the judgment, temperament or basic understanding of the world around him necessary to lead the world’s most powerful nation.
“I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president,” Obama said. “I said so last week. He keeps on proving it.”
Obama spoke of Trump’s nomination, which the candidate formally accepted two weeks ago in Ohio, several days into a controversy involving the GOP candidate’s attacks on the Muslim family of an US Army officer, Capt. Humayun Khan, who died heroically in Iraq.
Trump’s decision to criticize a Gold Star family has invoked a deluge of condemnation from Republicans and Democrats alike. But members of the GOP who have already endorsed him refrained from fully revoking their support.
“What’s been interesting has been the repeated denunciations of his statements by leading Republicans, including the speaker of the House, the Senate majority leader, prominent Republicans like [Sen.] John McCain,” Obama said.
“The question they have to ask themselves is, if you are repeatedly having to say in very strong terms that what he has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him? What does this say about your party, that this is your standard bearer? This isn’t a situation where you have an episodic gaffe. This is daily, and weekly, where they are distancing themselves from statements he’s making... There has to come a point at which you say somebody who makes those kinds of statements doesn’t have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding to occupy the most powerful position in the world.”
Obama said that Trump’s candidacy represented a threat to the US “different than just having policy disagreements,” and that while there were Republican presidents with whom he disagreed, “I didn’t have a doubt they could function as president.
I think I was right and Mitt Romney and John McCain were wrong on certain policy issues, but I never thought they couldn’t do the job “There has to come a point at which you say, ‘enough,’” Obama said.
Trump responded by accusing Obama and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Obama’s former secretary of state, of “single-handedly destabilizing the Middle East.”
“Hillary Clinton has proven herself unfit to serve in any government office,” Trump said. “She is reckless with her emails, reckless with regime change, and reckless with American lives. Our nation has been humiliated abroad and compromised by radical Islam brought onto our shores. We need change now.”