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Barack Obama calls Donald Trump ‘woefully unprepared’

U.S. President on Republican presidential nominee: ‘There has to come a point at which you say enough’


 
President Barack Obama speaks during the third day session of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphi. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama slammed Donald Trump as “woefully unprepared” to serve in the White House on Tuesday and challenged Republican lawmakers to drop their support for their party’s nominee. “There has to come a point at which you say enough,” Obama said.

The president’s blistering comments 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 are voicing concern about Trump’s comments, but none have so far revoked support for the businessman in the White House campaign.

“If you are repeatedly having to say, in very strong terms, that what he has said in 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 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.

For Donald Trump, it’s become a familiar pattern. The Republican nominee 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, Trump re-litigated months-old grievances with primary rival Ted Cruz. Now, he’s sparring with an American Muslim family whose son was killed in Iraq.

Republican leaders have urged Trump to drop his attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan, who appeared at last week’s Democratic convention and harshly criticized the GOP nominee. It’s not just the optics of picking a fight with a military family that has GOP officials eager for Trump to move on, but the timing of his attacks: Election Day is just three months away.

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.

“It’s just who he is,” said Stuart Jolly, a former campaign staffer and current political director for the pro-Trump Great America PAC.

Others who have worked with Trump say the only way to ensure he moves on is to wait for him to tire of an issue or get drawn into another matter. 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.

Khan said that if Trump were president and enacted his proposed temporary ban on foreign Muslims coming to the U.S., a position Trump has backed away from in recent weeks, his son would have never been allowed into the country. He also questioned whether Trump had ever read the Constitution.

Trump responded by implying Ghazala Khan’s religion preventing her from speaking at the convention, though she later said talking publicly about her late son was still too difficult. On Monday, Trump tweeted that he was being “viciously attacked” by Khizr Khan.

Trump’s unwillingness to let the matter subside sparked outrage Monday from a chorus of 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 honour 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.

However, none of the Republican lawmakers pulled back their support of Trump’s White House campaign.

In his first rally after a weekend of controversy, Trump spoke at length and took several questions at an event Monday in Columbus, Ohio — never once mentioning the Khans.

But when asked about Khizr Khan on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” Trump responded, “I guess it’s part of my life.”

“His son died 12 years ago,” Trump added. “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 backers attending the Ohio rally dismissed the issue, underscoring how the businessman was able to survive numerous such firestorms in the GOP primaries.

“I think the Democrats laid a trap for him,” said Tom McClanahan, a 54-year-old from Johnston, Ohio. “I think they knew what they were doing when they asked that family to speak at the convention. They knew he’d respond.”

Dale Brown, a maintenance supervisor from Grove City, Ohio, whose son is in the Navy, said Democrats were blowing Trump’s comments out of proportion and had “politicized this by asking that family to speak.”

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 Trump’s readiness for the White House.

 


 

Barack Obama calls Donald Trump ‘woefully unprepared’

  1. I read somewhere that the Koch brothers are putting their money into Republican Senate races and have given up winning the presidency this time around. Trump doesn’t have much money left for paid TV advertisements so he is using outrageous crap on his tweets to garner TV commentators. Any press is good press in his mind to win his game. But there is an upside. And that upside is being promoted by Bernie Sanders when he urges his followers to get involved in politics themselves. Perhaps running for school trustee or a municipal post as a start. And may I add putting a Democratic Senator in when possible. Because change takes time. The Democratic Party has already embraced Bernie’s platform but will need to votes to implement changes. Republicans, having taken control of the Senate in the 2014 election, currently hold the Senate majority with 54 seats. This time there are 34 seats up for election. 10 previous Democrats and 24 Republican. So the best possible outcome is a pickup of at most 24 reducing the Republican majority from 54 to 30. Primed for the next Senate election in 2 years.

    • Oops my math is all wrong! shows my misunderstanding of US politics. Republicans hold 54 out of the 100 senate seats……..so Democrats could possibly take back the Senate. Maybe that is where the battle has to move!

  2. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Who was less prepared than Barack Obama, the community organizer, to take the presidency. And, indeed, his tenure has been an absolute disaster. He has borrowed billions of dollars, and a most of it was useless. Every day we hear about another insurance company withdrawing from Obama care. His foreign policies have also been a disaster, and America is seen as weak. He does not care if acknowledged felons stream into his country, as long as they will vote democrat. Americans are afraid, and they have reason to be.

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