As Trump looms large in the primaries, the White House has been forced to field more and more reactions to The Donald, including foreign dignitaries who wonder where America is headed.
Trump controversies have been mostly scorned by the White House, which has chosen to sidestep the drama in favor of attending to the real business matters of running the country.
But as the Trump-isms have escalated, the international reactions have begged the favor of a response from the presidency.
Not only that, but there is a legacy at stake. Were Trump to take the helm as president, many of the achievements of Obama’s administration would presumably be rendered void.
President Obama has stepped up to the plate.
At first, Obama kept it simple, offering what the Boston Globe described as “implicit rebukes of the Trump phenomenon.”
In September, Obama said that “America is great right now,” a less than subtle response to Trump’s campaign slogan, “make America great again.”
On Tuesday, Obama was asked whether Trump’s proposals were already damaging U.S. relations.
Obama said, “Yes.
“I am getting questions constantly from foreign leaders about some of the wackier suggestions that are being made. They don’t expect half-baked notions coming out of the White House. We can’t afford that.”
Trump had a retort for that. He made a statement to Fox News on Wednesday before a New York rally.
“Well I mean, his whole administration is half-baked. They don’t know what they’re doing.”
The president was asked on Tuesday whether the GOP candidate’s policy proposals are hurting the U.S.’s image in the world. He smiled and said, “Oh, no. It’s Trump.
“I am getting questions constantly from foreign leaders about some of the wackier suggestions that are being made.”
One of the “wackiest” may have been Trump’s proposal to force Mexico to pay for a multibillion-dollar border wall, by cutting off immigrants’ ability to send money back to their home country.
Obama called it a “half-baked” strategy, saying it would ruin Mexico’s economy and lead to a new wave of illegal immigration to the United States.
Trump’s knowledge of foreign policy, or lack thereof, came under fire in a recent press conference. Obama called out the GOP frontrunner’s proposal to allow Japan and South Korea to obtain nuclear weapons.
Obama called NATO a “cornerstone” of U.S. and European security, following a Monday meeting with the organization’s secretary-general. Trump has criticized NATO, calling the Cold War-era alliance “obsolete” and said he would be happy to see it dissolve.
Commenting on Trump is always risky, according to political strategists, because it runs the risk of elevating him in the eyes of anti-Obama Republican voters.
But Democratic strategist Jim Manley, according to The Hill, said “We’re long past the place where we can underestimate Donald Trump.
“We are in very dangerous territory. Saying nothing about this stuff is not an option.”
The verbal volleying between Trump and the president began back in February, when the real estate mogul lashed out at Obama. His attack was in response to Obama’s comment that Trump would never become president.
“This man has done such a bad job, he has set us back so far. And for him to say that is actually a great compliment, if you want to know the truth.”
He concluded the remarks by addressing Obama directly.
“You’re lucky I didn’t run last time when [Mitt] Romney ran, because you would have been a one-term president.”
Obama has repeatedly stated that Trump would never be president.
The president laughed off the idea in an interview with NBC’s Today show host Matt Lauer. When asked if he can imagine The Donald in the White House, Obama quipped, “I can imagine it in a Saturday Night skit.”
Democrats are calling for more confrontation on Obama’s part. Since the president seems to be relishing what appears to be his new duty, this is a definite possibility.
This Friday, President Obama will be in California for a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee at the home of actor Tobey Maguire and his wife Jennifer, according to Los AngelesDaily News.
That may give the Democrats an opportunity to have their wish come to fruition.
[Image via Ron Foster Sharif / Shutterstock.com]