President Barack Obama urged reporters to properly vet presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump on Friday, cautioning that the contest for the presidency “is not a reality show.”
“I want to emphasize the degree to which are in a serious time and this is a serious job,” Obama told journalists in the White House briefing room. “This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States, and what that means is that every candidate and every nominee needs to be subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny.”
Asked to react to Trump’s position as the only candidate left in the Republican field, the President took oblique pot shots at the real estate mogul’s scattershot policy proposals while avoiding calling him out by name.
“If they take a position on international issues that could threaten war or has the potential of upending our critical relationships with other countries or would potentially break the financial system, that needs to be reported on,” Obama said of the 2016 presidential candidates.
“The one thing that I am going to really be looking for the next six months is that the American people are effectively informed about where candidates stand on the issues, what they believe, making sure that their numbers add up and making sure that their policies have been vetted, and that candidates are held to what they said in the past,” he continued.
Another reporter asked about House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) saying that he was “not ready” to throw his support behind Trump on Thursday.
According to Obama, Ryan’s response pointed to the GOP’s need to take a close look at the public face it was representing to voters now that Trump is “the standard” for the party.
“I think not just Republican officials but more importantly Republican voters are going to have to make a decision whether this is the guy who speaks for them and represents their values,” the president said.
“I will leave it up to the Republicans to figure out how they square their circle.”