Obama Critiques Media: Clinton And Trump Aren’t Even Comparable

|
September 13, 2016 3:31 p.m.
JOIN TPM FOR JUST $1

During a rally in Philadelphia for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, President Obama said it’s impossible to compare Clinton to Donald Trump in a speech that was critical of media coverage of the presidential election.

“I’m not running this time, but I sure do get frustrated with the way this campaign is covered,” he said. “You don’t grade the presidency on a curve. This is serious business.”

He then argued that Clinton and Trump are on completely different levels when it comes to transparency, their charitable organizations, and their preparedness to serve as president.

“You want to debate transparency? You’ve one one candidate in this debate who’s released decades worth of her tax returns. The other candidate is the first in decades who refuses to release any at all,” he said.

“You want to debate foundations and charities? One candidate’s family foundation has saved countless lives around the world. The other candidate’s foundation took money other people gave to his charity and then bought a six-foot-tall painting of himself,” Obama continued.

And when it comes to who is fit to serve as president, Obama said that Clinton “has more qualifications than pretty much anyone who’s ever run for this job” while Trump “isn’t fit in any way, shape, or form to represent this country abroad and be its commander-in-chief.”

He then lamented that Trump’s outlandish statements have become normal, appearing to reference NBC anchor Matt Lauer’s failure to challenge Trump’s claims last week that he has always opposed the Iraq War.

“Donald Trump says stuff everyday that used to be considered as disqualifying for being president. And yet because he says it over and over and over again the press just gives up,” he said.

“‘I was opposed to the war in Iraq,'” Obama said, quoting Trump. “Well, actually, he wasn’t. But they just accept it.”

“The bottom line is that we can not afford suddenly to treat this like a reality show. We can’t afford to act as if there’s some equivalence here,” the President added.

Earlier in the speech, Obama contrasted Clinton’s experience as secretary of state with Trump’s record in business.

“What you’re coming to realize when you’re in this job is anybody can pop off, everybody can fire off a tweet, everybody’s a critic, but that doesn’t mean you know what it’s like to manage a global crisis. You don’t know what it’s like to send a group of young people to war knowing some won’t come back,” he said. “But the closest you can come to understanding what it’s like is to be where Hillary’s been.”

He then turned to Trump.

“He calls himself a business guy. But America’s got a lot of businessmen and women who succeeded without hiding their tax returns or leaving a trail of lawsuits or workers who didn’t get paid, people feeling like they got cheated,” Obama said. “This guy who spent 70 years on this earth showing no concern for working people. This guy’s suddenly going to be your champion?”

And after noting that Clinton has “worked with our intelligence teams and our diplomats and our military,” he knocked Trump for his praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“And then you’ve got the Donald, who just last week went on Russian state television to talk down our military and to curry favor with Vladimir Putin,” Obama said.

Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporter:
Senior Newswriter:
Newswriters:
Editor at Large:
General Manager & General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: