US President Barack Obama (L) talks to presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin at the White House. (Photo by Vanity Fair)
US President Barack Obama says that most Americans know Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump isn’t “suited” for the presidency and the candidate is only supported by fearful and resentful voters.
“I don’t think it’s a surprise for me to say that I don’t think his temperament is suited for this office,” Obama said in an interview published by the Vanity Fair magazine. “But it’s not something that I have to emphasize because I think the majority of the American people have figured that out.”
The outgoing US president described the New York businessman’s candidacy as “an expression of certain fears, certain resentments, that have been a running thread in American history.”
Obama said there has always been figures like Trump who have “become symbols and expressions of those fears and resentments.”
He went on to praise Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who once served as his secretary of state.
“To my mind, having somebody smart, tough, capable with her own stature, who could travel around the world and command the stage, was a huge asset,” the president said of the former first lady.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton
Obama’s attack on Trump’s supporters is expected to spark serious reaction from the candidate’s sizable fan base, who still hold a grudge against Clinton for calling them “a basket of deplorables” among some other names earlier this month.
“To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables,” Clinton said at a fundraiser on September 10. "Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, you name it.”
Clinton later on expressed “regret” and tried to retract the statements.
Obama’s recent comments against Trump’s supporters comes in a time when almost all recent polls have indicated a tightening race between Clinton and Trump at national and state levels, some 50 days from the November vote.
According to the latest CBS News Battleground Tracker poll issued Sunday, the pair was tied at 42 percent in 13 battleground states.
Clinton’s lead has shrunk to about one point in the latest RealClearPolitics average of national polls.