August 2, 2016
President Obama on Tuesday bluntly declared Donald Trump “unfit” to be commander in chief and pressured senior Republicans to retract their endorsements of the GOP standard-bearer.
“I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president,” Obama told reporters at a joint press conference with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the White House.
Turning up the heat on top Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan, who have endorsed the former reality show star, Obama said their criticisms of his frequent controversial statements “ring hollow” because they say they will still support him in November.
“There has to come a point at which you say ‘enough,’” the president declared.
Obama cited Trump’s bitter public feud with Khizr and Ghazala Khan. Their son Humayun, a 27-year-old Army captain, was killed by a car bomb in Iraq in 2004.
“The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that had 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 said.
Trump’s criticisms of the Khans, who assailed the former reality show star last week at the Democratic nominating convention, has drawn criticism from Ryan, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Sen. John McCain — but none has rescinded his endorsement.
“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?’” Obama said.
“There has to be a point at which you say, ‘This is not somebody I can support for president of the United States even if he purports to be a member of my party,’” the president said.
“There has to come a point at which you say somebody who makes those kinds of statements doesn’t have the judgment, the temperament, the understanding to occupy the most powerful position in the world,” he continued.