“I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president, and the reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people, and I think they recognize that being president is a serious job,” Obama said at a press conference in California. “It’s not hosting a talk show or a reality show, it’s not promotion, it’s not marketing, it’s hard. And a lot of people count on us getting it right, and it’s not a matter of pandering and doing whatever gets you in the news on a given day.”
Obama’s comments come after Trump collected a decisive victory in the New Hampshire primary as well as his most direct on the 2016 presidential race. Although Trump has gotten the most attention among the Republican presidential contenders for his divisive comments, Obama condemned what he believes is anti-Muslim rhetoric from all those running in the Republican field, while highlighting the fact that Trump isn’t the only one making such remarks.
“I think foreign observers are troubled by some of the rhetoric that’s taken place in these Republican primaries, and the Republican debates. I don’t think it’s restricted, by the way, to Mr. Trump,” the president stated Tuesday. “I mean, I find it interesting that everyone’s focused on Trump, primarily just because he says in more interesting ways what the other candidates are saying as well.”
“So he may up the ante in anti-Muslim sentiment, but if you look at what the other candidates have said, that’s pretty troubling too,” Obama continued.
Although he didn’t specifically name him, Obama did single out Trump’s fellow GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for changing his stance on immigration.
“You’ve got a candidate who sponsored a bill that I supported to finally solve the immigration problem, and he’s running away from it as fast as he can,” Obama said as he cited the failed 2013 “Gang of Eight” immigration reform bill.
As for the GOP candidates as a whole, Obama took time to slam them for their opposition to efforts in fighting climate change.
“The other countries around the world, they kind of count on the United States being on the side of science and reason and common sense,” he said. “There is not a single candidate in the Republican primary that thinks we should do anything about climate change, that thinks it’s serious. Well that’s a problem.”
Despite the differences, Obama admitted that he was optimistic that voters would ultimately side with a qualified candidate.
“The American people are pretty sensible, and I think they’ll make a sensible choice in the end,” he said.