President Barack Obama appeared on Tuesday at a press conference with Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore’s Prime Minister. After a brief statement by both leaders, the duo took questions from the press corp. Not surprisingly, the first question was regarding Donald Trump and his comments about the Khan family and also his statement that he would consider recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea makes Obama question Trump’s fitness to be president.
The President responded “Yes, I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president. I said so last week, and he keeps on proving it.”
And Obama was just getting started.
“The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that have made such extraordinary sacrifices on beahalf of our country. The fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge around critical issues in Europe, in the Middle East, in Asia, means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job.
And this is not just my opinion. I think what’s been interesting is the repeated denunciations of his statements by leading Republicans, including the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader and prominent Republicans like John McCain.
And the question I think that 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?”
The President’s response was to say the least unexpected as he has worked hard to remain reserved about Trump in the past few days. The President clearly felt the need to speak up in stronger terms as Trump’s rhetoric has the potential of affecting foreign relations and progress as well as continuing to ignite domestic issues.
The President called upon Republican leaders to denounce Trump saying
“There have been republican presidents with whom I disagreed, but I did not have a doubt as that they could function as president. I think I was right and Mitt Romney and John McCain were wrong as to certain policy issues, but I never thought that they couldn’t do the job. And had they won, I would have been disappointed, but I would have said to all Americans that this is our president and I know that they’re going to abide by certain norms and rules, common sense, will observe basic decency, will have enough knowledge about economic policy, and foreign policy, and our Constitutional traditions, and rule of law that our government will work.
There has to come a point at which you say enough. And the alternative is that the entire party, the Republican Party, effectively endorses and validates the positions that are being articulated by Mr. Trump. And as I said in my speech last week, I don’t that actually represents the views of a whole lot of Republicans out there.”