Politics

Obama On Trump: He's The 'Classic Reality TV Character'

| by Jared Keever
President Barack Obama SpeakingPresident Barack Obama Speaking

President Barack Obama said during his recent interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that he doesn't expect Donald Trump to be elected president of the United States. 

Responding to a question from Steve Kroft, in the interview that aired on the night of Oct. 11, Obama dismissed the GOP front-runner as more of a celebrity than a serious political contender. 

“What do you think of Donald Trump?” Kroft asked the president.

“Well, I think that he is a great publicity-seeker and at a time when the Republican party hasn't really figured out what it's for, as opposed to what it's against,” Obama responded. “I think that he is tapped into something that exists in the Republican party that's real. I think there is genuine anti-immigrant sentiment in the large portion of at least Republican primary voters. I don't think it's uniform.

"He knows how to get attention. He is, you know, the classic reality TV character and, at this early stage, it's not surprising that he's gotten a lot of attention.”

It’s not the first time the president has taken a jab at Trump in recent days.

At a fundraising event for Democratic Washington state Sen. Patty Murray on Oct. 9, the president criticized Trump and the general tone of the Republican primary race when it comes to immigration policy. 

“How many folks here got a little Irish in them?” Obama asked the crowd, according to Politico. “There was a time they were talking about the Irish just like Mr. Trump is talking about Mexicans right now.

“How many Italians? They were talking about you, too.”

And on Oct. 8, while speaking at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Awards Gala, Obama appeared to also target Trump’s campaign proposal of building a wall at the Mexican border to keep out undocumented immigrants. 

“America's greatness does not come from building walls,” Obama told the crowd, according to CNN. “It comes from building opportunity.”

He also took issue with other Republican candidates’ stances on immigration reform. 

“Some of the very same Republican politicians who championed immigration reform in the past, some of whom sponsored these efforts, suddenly they want nothing to do with it,” he said. 

When the crowd booed, the president interrupted them. 

“Don't boo ... vote,” he said. “They can't hear the boos ... they can hear your vote.”

And he suggested on Oct. 11 during the interview with Kroft that voters would eventually keep Trump from becoming president. 

When asked if he thought Trump would eventually drop out of the race, Obama said, “You know, I'll leave it up to the pundits to make that determination.”

“I don't think he'll end up being president of the United States,” he added. 

Sources: CBS News, Politico, CNN

Photo credit: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr, Gage Skidmore/Flickr