Although it comes as no surprise that the current Democratic president is not impressed with any Republican running for the highest office in the land, President Obama nonetheless seems particularly appalled by the current field of contenders within the GOP primary race. On Tuesday, Obama offered an “extended critique” of the Republicans who are hoping to take his place in the White House.
Obama described the field of Republican contenders as “troubling” to people around the entire world and singled out Donald Trump, the party’s current frontrunner, as someone who would be exceptionally unqualified for president.
Obama spoke during a news conference in California after a two-day summit meeting with leaders from Asian nations. The president addressed the particular stances taken by the Republican candidates on such issues as Muslims in American communities, climate change, and immigration.
“There is not a single candidate in the Republican primary that thinks we should do anything about climate change, that thinks it’s serious,” President Obama said. “Well that’s a problem. The rest of the world looks at that and says, ‘Well, how can that be?'”
And although the president underscored the fact that he finds all the Republican candidates to be troubling, he did single out Donald Trump, real estate mogul and former reality star, as the candidate who may be the most unprepared for presidential duties. Obama called into question not simply Trump’s credentials but also his capabilities.
“Being president is a serious job. It’s not hosting a talk show or a reality show. It’s not promotion. It’s not marketing. It’s hard. And a lot of people count on us getting it right. And it’s not a matter of pandering and doing whatever will get you in the news on a given day.”
Despite Trump being seen as, perhaps, more extreme than other candidates, Obama said that Donald Trump merely “says in more interesting ways what the other candidates are saying as well.”
“He may up the ante in anti-Muslim sentiment,” President Obama said, “but if you look at what the other candidates have said, that’s pretty troubling, too.”
But as to whether or not Obama believes that Trump could actually become president, Obama said no — and the reason why is simple.
“I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president. And the reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people.”
Donald Trump, of course, did not take the dismissal from President Obama quietly.
Later on Tuesday, in Beaufort, South Carolina, Trump said that he considered what President Obama said about him to be a compliment.
“That man has done such a bad job,” Trump said, “and has set us back so far.”
“He has done such a lousy job as president. You look at our budgets. You look at our spending. We can’t beat ISIS. Obamacare is terrible. We’re going to terminate it. We’re going to absolutely terminate and replace it. I mean you look at everything. Our borders are like Swiss cheese.”
But President Obama firmly believes that none of the current Republicans running are prepared to lead, indicating that Trump and the others would ultimately be unable to withstand the pressures of the job. A president, Obama said, must “work with leaders around the world in a way that reflects the importance of the office, and gives people confidence that you know the facts and you know their names, and you know where they are on a map and you know something about their history.”
He added that his successor would have “the nuclear codes with them and can order 21-year-olds into a firefight and has to make sure that the banking system doesn’t collapse and is often responsible for not just the United States of America but 20 other countries that are having big problems, are falling apart and are going to be looking for us to do something.”
[Photo by Larry Marano/Contributor/Getty Images]