Standing in the Rose Garden in a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, President Obama baited Donald Trump to engage with him.
The Republican presidential nominee finds himself on the wrong side of an increasingly lopsided presidential race as his campaign has been rocked by blow after blow since mid September, with the most significant being a leaked recording where the nominee is heard making extremely lewd comments and admitting to what can be interpreted as sexual assault.
That is in stark contrast to Obama, who is enjoying some of the highest approval ratings of his presidency. The very first question that Obama was asked at the news conference was about Trump, and although the President said that he was going to be more “subdued” in his response, he quite directly laid into Trump.
Obama seized the opportunity to call the Republican candidate out on his recent claims of election rigging — something that has been roundly criticized by political leaders on all sides of the aisle.
“If you start whining before the game’s even over? If whenever things are going badly for you and you lose, you start blaming somebody else, then you don’t have what it takes to be in this job.”
Obama made his comment as he was pointing to the White House directly behind him. He then continued, “I’d invite Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try to make his case to get votes.”
The President was quick to address Trump’s claims that the “system is rigged.” He said that Trump’s claim “happens to be based on no facts,” and that serious experts “will tell you that instances of significant voter fraud are not to be found.” Obama also called it “unprecedented” for a presidential candidate to “discredit the elections” before any votes were even cast, something Trump has done repeatedly in recent days.
This is only the most recent attacks that Trump has launched against the election process itself. He has called the election system rigged both in the primaries and earlier in the general election.