August 2, 2016

President Obama got his opportunity to smack Trump today at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Singapore, and he did not hold back.

"I think the Republican nominee is unfit to serve as president. I said so last week and he keeps on proving it," Obama answered in response to a reporter's question.

In spite of his sharp remarks about Trump, though, his real sting was at Republicans who continue to back their nominee in spite of his obvious unfitness for office.

"I think what's been interesting is the repeated denunciations of his statements by leading Republicans including the speaker of the House, the Senate majority leader and prominent Republicans like John McCain," he continued. "The question I think that 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?"

Yes, why are they? This is the question I've been asking for several days now. If they are the leaders they say they are, they should follow Ted Cruz's lead and simply withdraw their support.

Charlie Pierce:

Look at what he just did, standing there with the president of Singapore, who must be baffled as to how this country ever came to the prominence it did, what with the kind of unmoored yahoos who can get nominated for high office. The president deftly dropped the harshest overhand right an incumbent president can drop on a contender—and this after a weekend in which said contender was reeling all over the landscape, yapping about fire marshals. And, at the same time, just at the moment when this reeling and yapping was forcing people like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan into the "deplore-but-not-renounce" two-step, he threw an elbow at them, too. This wasn't the East Room. This was the Octagon. Step up or tap out, boys.

Bingo. And thank YOU, Mr. President, for saying what needs to be said.

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