WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama slammed Donald Trump on Tuesday as “unfit” and “woefully unprepared” to serve in the White House. He challenged Republican lawmakers to drop their support for their party’s nominee, declaring “There has to come a point at which you say enough.”
The president’s blistering critique of his potential successor came on the heels of Trump’s criticism of an American Muslim family whose son, a captain in the U.S. Army, was killed in Iraq. A growing number of GOP lawmakers have disavowed Trump’s comments, but most of those who have endorsed him are sticking by that stance.
“If you are repeatedly having to say, in very strong terms, that what he has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?” Obama asked during a White House news conference. “What does this say about your party that this is your standard-bearer?”
The president said his opposition to Trump is about more than policy differences. He said that while he disagreed with his Republican opponents in the 2008 and 2012 elections, he never thought they were unfit to do the job.
Obama – who is enjoying heightened popularity in his eighth and final year in office – has made clear he plans to be an active player in the White House race, campaigning around the country for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Trump responded with a statement that summarized the points he makes in his stump speeches: “Obama-Clinton have single-handedly destabilized the Middle East … released criminal aliens into our country who killed one innocent American after another … produced the worst recovery since the Great Depression (and) shipped millions of our best jobs overseas.”