An increasingly urgent President Barack Obama ridiculed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his supporters during a rally in Philadelphia, but warned that Trump could still end up being his successor in the White House.
“This shouldn’t even be close!” Obama said, flashing disbelief that Trump was earning the support of blue collar Americans.
He ridiculed the notion that low-income Americans were falling for Trump’s promises to them, insisting that the Manhattan billionaire didn’t care about them.
“Really? This is the guy you want to be championing workin’ people?” Obama asked incredulously. “He’s spent most of his life trying to stay as far away from working people as he could, and now this guy’s going to be the champion of working people? Huh?”
Obama insisted that voting for Donald Trump was not even a choice that Americans should consider, if they wanted to hold true to it’s ideals.
“This is a dark, pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other. We turn away from the rest of the world,” he said. “They’re not offering serious solutions they’re just fanning resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.”
Obama warned that Trump’s campaign was focused more on scaring Americans and could actually win if Democrats didn’t turn out for Hillary Clinton.
“He’s betting if he scares enough people he might scare up enough votes to win this election,” Obama said.
Obama acknowledged that Trump was thriving off of the same kind of energy that he received during his own presidential campaign, but warned his supporters not to take Hillary Clinton for granted.
“I understand we are a young country, we are a restless country, we always like the new shiny thing, I benefited from that when I was a candidate,” he said. “We take for granted sometimes what is steady and true.”
The president accused the press for “normalizing” the controversial presidential candidate, directing specific remarks to the media.
“I sure do get frustrated with the way this campaign is covered. I’m just telling the truth. Guys in the back, I’m just telling you the truth about how I feel about this,” he said, referring to the press. “Do you mind if I just vent for a second? You know, you don’t grade the presidency on a curve. This is serious business.”
He praised Hillary Clinton for traveling to more countries than any Secretary of State in history, but said Trump “isn’t fit in any way shape or form to represent this country abroad and be it’s commander in chief.”
He accused the press of letting Trump have a pass, despite his repeated controversial remarks.
“Donald Trump says stuff that every day that used to be considered as disqualifying for being president, and yet because he says it over and over and over again, the press just gives up and they just say, ‘Well yeah, you know, OK.”
Obama alluded to Matt Lauer’s moderating performance in the commander-in-chief forum, ridiculing journalists for failing to fact check Trump’s claim that he never supported the invasion of Iraq.
”Well actually he wasn’t,” Obama said emphatically. “But they just accept it.”
Obama repeated an earlier criticism of the press, accusing them of turning the presidential campaign as a reality show.
“We can not afford suddenly to treat this like a reality show,” Obama added. “We can’t afford to act like as if there is some equivalence here.”