BEAUFORT, S.C. — Donald Trump brushed off President Obama’s suggestion Tuesday that he’s not serious enough to win the presidency, calling it a “great compliment” because Obama has done “such a lousy job as president.”
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday, Obama lashed out at the Republican presidential primary field, telling reporters that foreign observers were “troubled” by the rhetoric of GOP candidates on issues like climate change and the Syrian refugee crisis, including a suggested ban on Muslims entering the United States. But he voiced a particular disdain for Trump, the GOP frontrunner, calling him an unserious candidate who doesn’t have the political staying power to win the White House.
“I continue to believe Mr. Trump will not be president,” Obama said at a press conference in California, where he is hosting a trade summit with Asian leaders. “I have a lot of faith in the American people. I think they recognize that being president is a serious job. It’s not hosting a talk show or a reality show. It’s not promotion. It’s not marketing. It’s hard.”
Donald Trump at a town hall Feb. 16 in Beaufort, S.C. (Photo: Matt Rourke/AP)
Trump rolled his eyes as a moderator read out Obama’s comments for the audience at the top of a packed town hall at a local high school here. The crowd promptly booed the president’s words.
“This man has done such a bad job and set us back so far,” Trump said, trashing Obama’s handling of the economy, immigration and the threat of ISIS. “For him to say that is actually a great compliment.”
Trump then alluded to his brief flirtation with a presidential run four years ago, saying Obama is fortunate that he decided against challenging Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican nomination.
“You’re lucky I didn’t run last time,” Trump said of Obama. “You’d be a one-term president.”