Barack Obama used the occasion of a joint news conference with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to attack Donald Trump.
OBAMA: I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president. I said so last week. He keeps on proving it. The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family, that [General] Hayden — had made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he does not appear to have basic knowledge around critical issues in Europe, the Middle East, in Asia.
It means that he is woefully unprepared. This is not just my opinion. What’s been interesting has been the repeated denunciations of his statements by leading Republicans. Including the Speaker of the House, the Senate Majority Leader, prominent Republicans like John McCain.
The question 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?
This isn’t a situation where you have an episodic gaffe. This is daily, and weekly, where they are distancing themselves from statements he’s making. There has to be a point in 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. And, you know, the fact that that has not yet happened makes some of these denunciations ring hollow.
I don’t doubt their sincerity. I don’t doubt that they were outraged about some of the statements that Mr. Trump and his supporters made about the Khan family. But 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. Because a lot of people depend on the White House getting stuff right. And this is different than just having policy disagreements.
I recognize that they all profoundly disagree with myself or Hillary Clinton on tax policy or on certain elements of foreign policy. But you know, there have been Republican presidents with whom I disagreed with but I didn’t have a doubt that they could function as president.
He asks some very good questions. And it is really difficult to disagree with much of anything he says here — other than the baldfaced lying, because Obama has never, ever attributed sincere motives to his opponents. If you put the trolling aside, he makes a point. You have a nominee who has surrounded himself by men who are virtually agents of a foreign power, a man who lies, cheats, and steals as a lifestyle choice, a man who is much a clinical narcissist as Obama himself. You have a nominee that mocks a disabled reporter and verbally attacks the parents of a young man killed in Iraq. How, indeed, can they continue defending him?
The answers, unfortunately, are very easy to come by. It was obvious to them in August/September of last year what Cheeto Jesus was really like. That they are supporting him now is, therefore, not a surprise. These same leaders had any number of chances to get out and speak against Trump but they elected not to. They had an opportunity to execute a coup at the convention, but they went along. They did it from the shallow political calculus that Trump could mobilize heretofore disinterested voters and beat Hillary. They made the calculation that winning was by itself a justification for anything they had to put up with in the meantime. They were and are very, very wrong. But now they are stuck and they have nowhere else to go but the warm and moist grip of the Tiny Hands of Trump because to deny him is to deny themselves. History will not judge any of them kindly.