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Obama Skewers Trump As ‘Unfit’ to be Commander in Chief

The president slams the Republican nominee as “woefully unprepared” and lacking “basic knowledge.”

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In his strongest repudiation yet of Donald Trump, President Barack Obama on Tuesday slammed the Republican presidential nominee as “unfit to serve as president."

The New York businessman is “woefully unprepared to do this job,” Obama said in a White House press conference with the Singaporean prime minister on Tuesday morning, adding that the candidate himself has proven it most recently by criticizing the family of a Muslim-American Army captain killed in Iraq.

The president’s comments came on the heels of a growing controversy over the big-haired, bigger-mouthed GOP nominee’s disparagement of the parents of the fallen service member, Humayun Khan, killed in Iraq in 2004. Khan’s father Khizr gave one of the more powerful responses yet to the Republican’s on-again-off-again Muslim ban at the Democratic gathering in Philadelphia last week, saying Trump had “sacrificed nothing” and asking if he'd read the Constitution. Trump then criticized Khizr and his wife Ghazala, implying her religion, rather than her grief, had prevented her from speaking and saying his real estate work was a sacrifice on par with losing their son.

In his strongest repudiation yet of Donald Trump, President Barack Obama on Tuesday slammed the Republican presidential nominee as “unfit to serve as president.”

The New York businessman is “woefully unprepared to do this job,” Obama said in a White House press conference with the Singaporean prime minister on Tuesday morning, adding that the candidate himself has proven it most recently by criticizing the family of a Muslim-American Army captain killed in Iraq.

The president’s comments came on the heels of a growing controversy over the big-haired, bigger-mouthed GOP nominee’s disparagement of the parents of the fallen service member, Humayun Khan, killed in Iraq in 2004. Khan’s father Khizr gave one of the more powerful responses yet to the Republican’s on-again-off-again Muslim ban at the Democratic gathering in Philadelphia last week, saying Trump had “sacrificed nothing” and asking if he’d read the Constitution. Trump then criticized Khizr and his wife Ghazala, implying her religion, rather than her grief, had prevented her from speaking and saying his real estate work was a sacrifice on par with losing their son.

Trump has also been sparring with four-star Marine Gen. John Allen, who recently served as Obama’s envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition after commanding troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, calling him “failed.” He also denied that Russia had invaded Ukraine despite Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, encouraged Russia to hack the email of Hillary Clinton, and said the Democratic nominee was “the devil.”

Obama launched a detailed attack against the Republican nominee. “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,” the president said.

“This isn’t a situation where you have an episodic gaffe,” he continued. “This is daily.”

Trump’s inability or unwillingness to watch what comes out of his mouth appears to have erased any post-convention bump and left him trailing Clinton by up to 9 percentage points in a recent CNN/ORC poll, with a Real Clear Politics average putting the former secretary of state ahead by 4 points as of Tuesday.

It has also repeatedly put the Republicans who put him atop their ticket in a difficult spot as they fight to maintain control of the Senate. On Monday, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who is up for reelection, said, “I cannot emphasize enough how deeply I disagree with Mr. Trump’s statement. I hope Americans understand that the remarks do not represent the views of our Republican Party, its officers, or candidates.”

Early in his unexpectedly successful campaign, Trump said McCain, a prisoner of war in Vietnam, was “not a war hero” because he likes “people who weren’t captured.”

Still, McCain has refused to rescind his endorsement of the nominee. Other GOP lawmakers in vulnerable seats like Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire have bashed Trump’s comments without explicitly saying they would no longer support him.

Obama took these Republicans to task on Tuesday.

“If you are repeatedly having to say in very strong terms that what he said is unacceptable,” he said, “why are you still endorsing him?”

Photo credit: Mark Wilson / Staff

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