Obama Hammers GOPers Distancing Themselves From Trump’s Khan Attacks

AP

President Obama on Tuesday called out Republicans who distanced themselves from Donald Trump’s attacks on Khizr and Ghazala Khan, but who have not withdrawn their endorsement of the GOP nominee.

“I think what’s been interesting is the repeated denunciations of his statements by leading Republicans,” he said in a press conference. “The question I think 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.”

Obama wondered what comment from Trump would actually force Republicans to withdraw their support for the Republican nominee.

“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. 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 they were outraged about some of the statements that Mr. Trump and his supporters made about the Khan family,” he said. “But there has to come a point in 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.”

He noted that the denunciations coming from Republicans differ from the typical policy disagreements between Democrats and Republicans.

“I think I was right and Mitt Romney and John McCain were wrong on certain policy issues, but I never thought that they couldn’t do the job. And had they won, I would have been disappointed, but I would have said to all Americans, this is our president, and I know they’re going to abide by certain norms and rules and common sense, will observe basic decency, will have enough knowledge about economic policy and foreign policy, and our constitutional traditions and rule of law that our government will work,” Obama said. “But that’s not the situation here.”

“There has to come a point in which you say, enough,” Obama told Republicans.

The President also said that Trump is “unfit” to be president in light of his attacks on the Khans, who are the parents of a Muslim-American soldier who died in combat.

“Yes, I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president,” he said at a press conference when asked if he questions Trump’s fitness to serve given his comments on the Khan family and on Russia. “I said so last week. And he keeps on proving it. The notion that he would attack a Gold Star family that had made such extraordinary sacrifices on behalf of our country, the fact that he doesn’t appear to have basic knowledge around critical issues in Europe, in the middle east, in Asia means that he’s woefully unprepared to do this job.”

Watch part of Obama’s comments via NBC News:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Caitlin MacNeal is a News Writer based in Washington, D.C. Before joining TPM, Caitlin interned and wrote for the Huffington Post, the Sunlight Foundation and Slate. She is a graduate of Georgetown University.
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