Obama attacks Republicans for letting Trump ‘flourish’
US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have hit out at Donald Trump in the wake of his lewd remarks against women and criticised the Republican establishment for remaining silent and letting its presidential nominee “flourish” for political expedience.
While the First Lady launched a scathing attack on the 70-year-old reality TV star over his “demeaning” remarks about women, saying his “sexually predatory behaviour” has left her “shaken” to the core, Obama said the problem is that Republicans have been “riding this tiger for a long time”.
Michelle, in an impassioned campaign speech without taking naming Trump, said: “Last week, we saw this candidate actually bragging about sexually assaulting women. And I can’t believe that I’m saying that a candidate for President of the United States has bragged about sexually assaulting women.
“The fact is that in this election, we have a candidate for President of the US who, over the course of his lifetime and the course of this campaign, has said things about women that are so shocking, so demeaning that I simply will not repeat anything here today.”
Noting that she cannot stop thinking about the remarks, 52-year-old Michelle said it had “shaken me to my core in a way that I couldn’t have predicted” and added this was not something that one can ignore.
Obama, while addressing an event in Ohio, noted the “great” speech Michelle made in New Hampshire highlighting their shared views on Trump. He went on to criticise Republicans for nurturing people like Trump and “standing silently” despite disagreeing on several issues.
“The problem is not that all Republicans think the way his guy does. The problem is that they’ve been riding this tiger for a long time,” Obama said.
“They’ve been feeding their base all kinds of crazy for years, primarily for political expedience” - birtherism, talk radio pushing the idea that Obama is the anti-Christ. Climate change deniers. Texas senators and governor who “didn’t shoot down conspiracy theories about a routine military exercise,” he said.
“The people that knew better didn’t say anything. They didn’t say well I disagree with his economic policies but that goes too far. Trump took advantage of that,” he said.
“So Republicans who let Trump flourish -- they don’t get credit for at the very last minute when finally the guy that they nominated and they endorsed and they supported is caught on tape saying things that no decent person would even think, much less say, much less brag about, much less act on you can’t wait until that finally happens and then say, oh, that’s too much, that’s enough,” he said.
The remarks made by the Obamas came in the wake of a 2005 recording in which Trump is heard bragging in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a conversation caught on a microphone, which the billionaire dismissed as “locker room talk” and denied having done any of it in real life.
Obama said he is actually more forgiving of the people who actually believed all the untruths than those “than the people who knew better and stood silently by because it was politically expedient”.