Friday at the White House press briefing, President Barack Obama said of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, “This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States, and what that means is that every candidate and every nominee needs to be subject to exact standards and genuine scrutiny.”
Partial transcript as follows:
REPORTER: Mr. President, what’s your reaction to Donald Trump becoming the nominee of the Republican party, please? Given the delegate math, do you think it is time for Bernie Sanders to step aside on the Democratic side?
OBAMA: Well, with respect to the Republican process and Mr. Trump, there is going to be plenty of time to talk about his position on various issues. He has long record that needs to be examined. I think it is important for us to take seriously of the statements he made in the past. But most importantly and I speak to all of you in this room and as reporters well as the American public, I want to emphasize that we are in a serious time and this is a serious job. This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States, and what that means is that every candidate and every nominee needs to be subject to exact standards and genuine scrutiny. It means that you got to make sure their budgets add up. It means if they — it is actually plausible and that that he have details on how it would work. If it is completely implausible and would not work, that need to be reported on. The American people need to know that. If they take on an issue that could threaten war or has the potential of unending our critical relationships with other countries or would potentially break the financial system, that needs to be reported on.
The one thing that I am going to really be looking for the next six months is that the American people are effectively informed about where candidates stand on the issue and what they believe — making sure that their numbers add up and making sure that their policies are vetted and that candidates are held to what they said in the past. And if that happens, I am confident our democracy will work. And that’s true whether we are talking about Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton or Bernie Sanders or anybody else. But what I am concerned about is the degree to which reporting and information starts emphasizing the spectacle and the circus. That’s something we cannot afford. The American people, they got good judgment and good instincts as long as they good information.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN