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Saturday, 7 May 2016

Presidency is no reality show, Obama warns Trump

President Barack Obama on Friday called for Donald Trump’s White House bid – and his past record – to be held to close scrutiny as he warned the US presidency was not a “reality show".

With Trump seizing the mantle of presumptive Republican nominee this week after his rivals dropped out of the race, debate has turned to whether the provocative billionaire will be able to rally party faithful behind him between now and November.
Asked about Trump’s candidacy, and the resulting chaos on the Republican side, Obama offered some of his most pointed comments yet about the celebrity real estate mogul and long-time star of TV show “The Apprentice”, whose political rise has stunned the world.
“We are in serious times and this is a really serious job,” Obama told reporters at the White House. “This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show.”
“What that means is that every candidate, every nominee needs to be subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny.”
Trump has raised howls of protest even within his party with his harsh, free-wheeling speech and proposals ranging from banning Muslims from entering the United States to building a wall on the southern border to keep out Mexican migrants to slashing US funding for NATO so allies have to pay more.
“He has a long record that needs to be examined, and I think it’s important for us to take seriously the statements he’s made in the past,” Obama said.
When asked about a controversial tweet by Trump on the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo, the president was disdainfully uninterested.
“I have no thoughts on Mr Trump's tweets. As a general rule I don't pay attention to Mr Trump's tweets,” he said.
The president's history with Donald Trump goes back to 2011 when Trump spearheaded a campaign alleging Obama was foreign-born and not eligible to be president.
Obama released his American birth certificate and then proceeded to use the comic licence afforded by the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to mock Trump in his presence.
“No one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate to rest than the Donald. And that's because he can get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like, did we fake the moon landing?,” he said.
Trump declined an invitation to attend this year's dinner, which took place last week, where Obama once again made the presumptive Republican nominee the butt of several of his jokes.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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