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Washington - Obama Says Trump 'Unfit, Challenges GOP To Drop Support

Published on: August 2, 2016 11:57 AM
By: AP
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U.S. President Barack Obama and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (L) speak during a news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 2, 2016.  REUTERS/Joshua RobertsU.S. President Barack Obama and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (L) speak during a news conference at the White House in Washington, U.S., August 2, 2016.  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Washington -  In a searing denouncement, President Barack Obama slammed Donald Trump as “unfit” and “woefully unprepared” to serve in the White House on Tuesday. He challenged Republican lawmakers to drop their support for their party’s nominee, declaring “There has to come a point at which you say enough.”

The president’s blistering critique of his potential successor came on the heels of Trump’s criticism of an American Muslim family whose son, a captain in the U.S. Army, was killed in Iraq. A growing number of GOP lawmakers have disavowed Trump’s comments, but most of those who have endorsed him are sticking by that stance.

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“If you are repeatedly having to say, in very strong terms, that what he has said is unacceptable, why are you still endorsing him?” Obama asked during a White House news conference. “What does this say about your party that this is your standard-bearer?”

The president said his opposition to Trump is about more than policy differences. He said that while he disagreed with his Republican opponents in the 2008 and 2012 elections, he never thought they were unfit to do the job.

Obama — who is enjoying heightened popularity in his eighth and final year in office — has made clear he plans to be an active player in the White House race, campaigning around the country for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He and first lady Michelle Obama spoke at last week’s Democratic convention in Philadelphia, where Khizr and Ghazala Khan also made an appearance.

Khizr Khan criticized Trump’s call for a temporary ban on Muslims coming to the United States and challenged whether he had read the Constitution. Trump has questioned why Ghazala Khan did not speak, implying her religion prevented her from doing so, and has said he was “viciously attacked” by Khizr Khan.

Trump’s criticism of the Khans is part of a familiar pattern for the Republican nominee: He can’t let go of a perceived slight, no matter the potential damage to his presidential campaign or political reputation.

Trump spent the days after winning the Republican nomination criticizing a U.S. district court judge’s Mexican heritage. The morning after accepting the Republican nomination at the party’s convention, he re-opened months-old grievances with primary rival Ted Cruz.

Those who have worked with Trump say that in private meetings, he can often appear amenable to putting a controversy aside. But the businessman can quickly be drawn back in by an interview, especially if he believes he’s already answered the question, or if he grows irritated by commentary on cable television.

The only way to ensure Trump moves on is to wait for him to tire of an issue or get drawn into another matter, according to those who have worked with him.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who has advised Trump, said the candidate’s inability to back away from a political land mine “makes him vulnerable.”

“His whole experience up until running for office was in a very combative New York media market,” Gingrich said. “He’s been doing it now for over 30 years. It’s a very deeply held habit.”

Khizr Khan delivered an emotional address at last week’s Democratic convention, with his wife standing by his side. The Pakistan-born Khan told the story of his son, U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart after his death in 2004.

Trump’s unwillingness to let the matter subside sparked outrage Monday from several Republicans.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war, said Trump did not have “unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us.” Rep. Mike Coffman, a vulnerable Republican in a competitive Colorado district, said he was “deeply offended when Donald Trump fails to honor the sacrifices of all of our brave soldiers who were lost in that war.” Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt said the Khans “deserve to be heard and respected.”

“My advice to Donald Trump has been and will continue to be to focus on jobs and national security and stop responding to every criticism whether it’s from a grieving family or Hillary Clinton,” Blunt said in a statement.

But when asked about Khizr Khan on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” Trump responded, “His son died 12 years ago. ... If I were president, his son wouldn’t have died, because I wouldn’t have been in the war, if I was president back then.”

Trump didn’t raise the controversy during a rally Monday in Ohio. His supporters in the crowd dismissed the matter.

But the real test for Trump isn’t the opinion of the loyal supporters who attend his rallies. It’s the broader general election audience, a far more diverse group still weighing his readiness for the White House.



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Read Comments (20)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Aug 02, 2016 at 12:00 PM bennyt Says:

It takes one to know one!

2

 Aug 02, 2016 at 12:14 PM kenyaninwhitehouse Says:

says the racist Communist community organizer.

3

 Aug 02, 2016 at 12:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Coming from the mouth of the most unfit President in history.

4

 Aug 02, 2016 at 12:24 PM Anonymous Says:

"The frying pan calling the kettle black"!!!!

5

 Aug 02, 2016 at 12:24 PM Yossi Says:

i remember 8 years ago when 80% americans said Obama is not fit to be president.
Now he tells us that Trump is unfit?

6

 Aug 02, 2016 at 12:32 PM Anonymous Says:

Several observations.

1. Obama seems to have replaced his favorite pastime, golf, with spewing anti-Trump rhetoric. Well, Mr. President, you were not elected to spend your time playing party politics or to play sports. You were placed in office (by an electorate that was blind to your corrupt policies and goals) to govern. That is not conducted on the green, nor in campaigning for someone else.

2. Obama has a severely poor record at telling the truth. Does he really think his opinions will sway ours?

3. Unfit for the job? Really? In what way were you qualified? You never even got the on-the-job-training down pat.

7

 Aug 02, 2016 at 12:36 PM lipa21 Says:

was Obama fit to be president? NO WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but he did it anyway and
LOOK AT WHAT A DISASTER IT WAS. It can't be any worse under Trump !!
but could be worse under Hillary!!! so
VOTE REPUBLICAN IN NOVEMBER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9

 Aug 02, 2016 at 12:54 PM AuthenticSatmar Says:

Coming from a president who sat in the oval office with his feet on the desk.
While he is correct that Trump has a big mouth, i don't recall an election where any sitting president criticises the opposing candidate. That's not very presidential.

10

 Aug 02, 2016 at 01:01 PM ayinglefunadorf Says:

Reply to #5  
Yossi Says:

i remember 8 years ago when 80% americans said Obama is not fit to be president.
Now he tells us that Trump is unfit?

"8 years ago 80% said Obama is not fit....." He was elected by a landslide including 76% of the Jiden. Stop listening to Rush.

11

 Aug 02, 2016 at 01:04 PM ayinglefunadorf Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

Several observations.

1. Obama seems to have replaced his favorite pastime, golf, with spewing anti-Trump rhetoric. Well, Mr. President, you were not elected to spend your time playing party politics or to play sports. You were placed in office (by an electorate that was blind to your corrupt policies and goals) to govern. That is not conducted on the green, nor in campaigning for someone else.

2. Obama has a severely poor record at telling the truth. Does he really think his opinions will sway ours?

3. Unfit for the job? Really? In what way were you qualified? You never even got the on-the-job-training down pat.

Obama has 57% approval rating right now. Trump 23% The Electorate is not blind.

12

 Aug 02, 2016 at 01:28 PM MTL Says:

And we should what? Support Hillary?
Hell NO!

13

 Aug 02, 2016 at 01:29 PM Enough of Obama Says:

It is unprecedented for a sitting US President, to become actively embroiled in attacking a candidate of another party for President. I can't understand why Obama has to constantly stick his nose in, where it doesn't belong. If Trump wins, on inauguration day, he should not stop at the White House for breakfast with Obama, nor should Obama ride with him to the Capitol for the swearing in. Obama should simply leave the White House at Noon, and go to his new home. There is no requirement for the outgoing and the incoming President to ride together to the Capitol. Whereas it is traditional, Trump is not a traditional person. On Jan. 20, 1953, when Eisenhower was going to be sworn in, he and Truman didn't say two words to each other, when they rode together to the Capitol; the reason was that they couldn't stand each other.

14

 Aug 02, 2016 at 01:31 PM hashomer Says:

Trump is qualified because:
He's a racist who attracts white supremacists and neo nazis;
Insults American POWs;
Insults women;
Has no clue about foreign policy;
Is a snake oil salesman re Trump University;
Goofs up every day and blames 'the media'
Has the GOP looking for a way out.

15

 Aug 02, 2016 at 03:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Obama"s butting into an American election this way while still president is unprecedented. But of course he's terrified about his horrific policies being overturned by a republican president, and all his damaging secrets being revealed; this led him to go along with his nemesis Hillary who has much blackmail on him. This egotistical failure of apresident has some gall accusing someone else of being unfit; he's proven to be the most unfit in history since Carter. I can't wait until we don't have to look at his Kenyan face and hear his garbage any more, but I have a strong feeling he's still going to be hanging around causing America damage even after his presidency is over.,, after all, anyone who doesn't give him a high position will be accused of racism,

16

 Aug 02, 2016 at 03:51 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #9  
AuthenticSatmar Says:

Coming from a president who sat in the oval office with his feet on the desk.
While he is correct that Trump has a big mouth, i don't recall an election where any sitting president criticises the opposing candidate. That's not very presidential.

That's no true that Obama sat with his feet on the desk!! After all, he played a lot of golf.

17

 Aug 02, 2016 at 04:43 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #10  
ayinglefunadorf Says:

"8 years ago 80% said Obama is not fit....." He was elected by a landslide including 76% of the Jiden. Stop listening to Rush.

A צוריק געבליבען יונגל פין דארף is rooting for the most incompetent president in history

18

 Aug 02, 2016 at 04:49 PM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #14  
hashomer Says:

Trump is qualified because:
He's a racist who attracts white supremacists and neo nazis;
Insults American POWs;
Insults women;
Has no clue about foreign policy;
Is a snake oil salesman re Trump University;
Goofs up every day and blames 'the media'
Has the GOP looking for a way out.

Give it up...they're beyond reason.

Sadder to me than a man like Trump making it to be the presidential candidate of a major party is that fact that there are so many with a misdirected, xenophobic populist rage that they support him...so many who really have no understanding of the moral, legal and political principals that for generations have made the United States a haven for so many people fleeing persecution...including Jews.

Sadder still is that fact that there are so many Jews who fall prey to, and actively participate in, the same kind of scapegoating, stereotyping and racist hatred that for generations was aimed at their forbearers.

They are ingrates with big mouths, jerks who have no clue that their ability to daven as they do, dress as they do...and mouth off as they do...is because they live in country founded and dominated by non-Jews who believe fundamentally in our right to be who we are...not because the like our theology or love us...but because believing so is an important part of being a true American.

Sadly, it's something those politically unaware neo-fascists would deny to anyone they think is evil...even while they reap its benefits.

19

 Aug 02, 2016 at 05:53 PM Yossi Says:

Reply to #10  
ayinglefunadorf Says:

"8 years ago 80% said Obama is not fit....." He was elected by a landslide including 76% of the Jiden. Stop listening to Rush.

he still wasnt fit and got elected. yidden vote for who fills their pocket

20

 Aug 02, 2016 at 06:27 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
hashomer Says:

Trump is qualified because:
He's a racist who attracts white supremacists and neo nazis;
Insults American POWs;
Insults women;
Has no clue about foreign policy;
Is a snake oil salesman re Trump University;
Goofs up every day and blames 'the media'
Has the GOP looking for a way out.

Excuse me are you demagoging Trump and his supporters. It sure sounds like that to me.
Trump attracts white supremacists like Obama attracted angry anti american blacks like Farekiaihn and reverend wright. Yet I didn't believe it would impact him much and I don't beilive your Trump white supremacy fears will impact things that much either especially with a jewish daughter whom he respects and turns to for advice.

He does not insult women. He is juts generally a nasty perosn when he is attacked. So when women attack him and he attacks back it appears like its an attack on women but its not. I do agree that his nasty altitude is not appreciated.

Foreign policy? Well at least he does not have misguided, wrong and fialed foreign policies like Hawkish Hilary. She keeps on making the same dumb mistake. She thinks that democracy can flourish in the middle east. If it was just Iraq, then Ok we all make mistakes. But again and again? Lybia, Egypt, Syria etc...(even Tunisia was a mistake). Trump has common sense foreign policy ideas and challenges our silly old 20th century status quo policies.

He does not goof up rather the media is on a mission to smear Trump.

21

 Aug 02, 2016 at 11:00 PM TripleM Says:

This election boils down to either voting for an idiot or a liar. sad.

22

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