WASHINGTON – President Obama on Wednesday mocked Donald Trump’s debate performance against Hillary Clinton, saying the appearance exposed him as a person who “appears to only care about himself” and is completely unqualified to sit in the Oval Office.
The president assailed Trump as someone who “doesn’t do his homework, doesn’t know basic facts that you’d need to know.” He also lashed out at the Republican presidential nominee for denigrating women during the debate Monday night.
“You had somebody who basically insulted women and then doubled down,” Obama told Steve Harvey, a syndicated radio talk show host, in an interview broadcast Wednesday morning. “In terms of how he talks about them and talks about their weight and talks about how they look instead of the content of their character and their capabilities, which is not something that I want, not somebody I want in the Oval Office.”
In his first extended comments about the debate between Trump and Clinton, the president implored his supporters to make sure they vote for the Democratic nominee and insisted repeatedly that anyone who fails to vote in the November election, or votes for a third-party candidate, is effectively casting a ballot for Trump.
“If you don’t vote, that’s a vote for Trump,” Obama said. “If you vote for a third-party candidate who has got no chance to win, that’s a vote for Trump.”
White House officials have always known that one of Obama’s principal tasks in the final days of the election would be to help energize the coalition of voters — especially young people and blacks — to support Clinton in large numbers. With the election close in many battleground states, that effort is taking on added urgency.
In his remarks, Obama urged those supporters not to be complacent.
“The notion somehow that I’m not as inspired because Barack and Michelle are not on the ballot this time, and maybe we kind of take it easy,” he said. “My legacy is on the ballot. All the work we’ve done over the last eight years is on the ballot.”
Obama praised Clinton, calling her “as qualified as anybody who’s ever run for this office” and expressing frustration that people have not given her the credit she deserves for her accomplishments.
“Part of it may be because she is a woman and we have not elected a woman president before,” he said.
But he spent more time criticizing Trump.
Obama accused him of “rooting for the housing market to collapse because he would be in a position to buy up all of these properties.” He said he did not want someone in the presidency whose “only focus is how can I make a buck off it.”