President Barack Obama has a message to Republican lawmakers who are hoping to distance themselves from GOP nominee Donald Trump during the final weeks before the November election: too little, too late.
While campaigning on behalf of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in key swing states, President Obama has been on the warpath against Republican lawmakers hoping to keep their seats.
On Oct. 23, Obama set his sights on Republican Rep. Joe Heck of Nevada, blasting the GOP congressman for supporting Trump only until the release of 2005 audio of the business mogul bragging about kissing and groping women without their consent, The New York Times reports.
After the audio recording was released, Heck withdrew his endorsement for Trump and called for him to withdraw from the race.
“I believe our only option is to ask Mr. Trump to step down, and to allow Republicans the opportunity to elect someone who will provide us with the strong leadership ... and one that Americans deserve,” Heck said, reports Business Insider.
During a Las Vegas rally, Obama recounted how Heck had supported Trump for months and asserted that he only backed away from the GOP nominee after his controversies became a liability to his own campaign.
“I understand Joe Heck now wishes he never said those things about Donald Trump,” Obama said, noting the praise Heck had previously showered on Trump. “But they’re on tape, they’re on the record, and now that Trump’s poll numbers are cratering, he said, ‘I’m not supporting him?’”
Obama stated “Too late! You don’t get credit for that.”
The president has been urging voters to make an example of the GOP lawmakers who have supported Trump’s candidacy, accusing Republican candidates of only distancing themselves from Trump after his poll numbers began to sag.
“Now, when suddenly it’s not working, suddenly that’s a deal breaker,” Obama said. “Well, what took you so long? What the heck?”
On Oct. 24, President Obama turned his ire on Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California, who is facing a competitive race for re-election.
“Issa’s primary contribution to the United States Congress has been to obstruct and to waste taxpayer dollars on trumped-up investigations that have led nowhere,” Obama said, reports The Hill.
Issa has been using a photograph of President Obama signing a bill he had co-sponsored in his recent campaign mailers. Obama has blasted the member of Congress for attempting to appear bipartisan after distancing himself from Trump.
“Here’s a guy who called my administration perhaps the most corrupt in history ... that, when Trump was suggesting that I wasn’t even born here, said, well, I don’t know, was not sure,” Obama said of Issa.
“And now he’s sending out brochures touting his cooperation with me,” Obama added. “Now, that is shameless.”
President Obama has not been reserving his fire for only GOP lawmakers who have recently abandoned Trump. On Oct. 20, Obama blasted Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida for still endorsing the real estate developer, The Huffington Post reports.
“Why does Marco Rubio still plan to vote for Donald Trump?” Obama said during a rally in Miami Gardens, Florida. The president proceeded to needle Rubio for his continued support of Trump.
“If you’ve made a career of idolizing Ronald Reagan, then where we you when your party’s nominee was kissing up to [Russian President] Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer?” Obama said. “You used to criticize me for even talking to the Russians. Now suddenly you’re OK with your nominee having a bromance with Putin.”