Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Obama says Trump 'unfit', challenges GOP to drop support

Published:Wednesday | August 3, 2016 | 8:00 AM
United States President Barack Obama answers a question at a news conference at the White House in Washington, DC, yesterday.

WASHINGTON, DC (AP):

In a searing denouncement, United States President Barack Obama yesterday slammed Donald Trump as "unfit" and "woefully unprepared" to serve in the White House. 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 US 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.

"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 that 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 criticised 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 that her religion prevented her from doing so, and has said he was "viciously attacked" by Khizr Khan.