President Obama called on GOP leaders Tuesday to revoke their endorsement of the Republican Presidential Nominee, calling Donald Trump “unfit” for office.
According to USA Today, Obama stated, during a press conference with the Prime Minister of Singapore, that “I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as President. The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that has made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf 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.”
Obama noted the recrimination from several GOP leaders after Trump’s attacks and ongoing feud with Khizr Khan, whose son was killed during the Iraq War in 2004 and criticized Trump in his Democratic National Convention speech.
“The question 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?” Obama said, according to The New York Times.
Obama further said that “[t]his isn’t a situation where you have an episodic gaffe. This is daily.” He stated that political leaders of the GOP need to rise up and say that they cannot support Trump, even if he is a member of the Republican Party. According to the Times, Obama said that since Republican leaders have yet to do so “makes some of these denunciations ring hollow.”
Many are finding Obama’s condemnation of Trump to be astonishing. Douglas Brinkley, a Presidential historian, told the Times that Obama’s criticizing of Trump is “a highly unusual and almost unprecedented moment.” According to the Times, the last time a sitting president criticized the other party’s candidate was when President Harry S. Truman mocked Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1952 Presidential Election as not knowing “any more about politics than a pig knows about Sunday.”
Brinkley told the Times that this just shows how “radical and dangerous” Obama thinks Trump is.
According to USA Today, Obama mentioned his former Republican opponents, stating that “[he] was right and Mitt Romney and John McCain were wrong on certain policy issues, but I never thought that they couldn’t do the job.”
During the press conference, the Singaporean Prime Minister was asked about the future of diplomatic relations if Trump were to assume office. The Prime Minister stated he looked forward to working with whomever the Americans chose to be their President. “The Americans take pride in having a system with checks and balances,” he said, according to USA Today. “So, it is not so easy to do things, but it is not so easy to completely mess things up. We admire that, and sometimes we depend upon that.”
Obama remarked that the Prime Minister was correct, adding “The wisdom of our founders.”