US President Barack Obama has mocked the Republican leadership for being “shocked” over the campaign narrative of its frontrunner Donald Trump as he blamed it for creating the environment that led to the controversial leader’s rise.
“We’ve got a debate inside the other party that is fantasy and schoolyard taunts and selling stuff like it’s the Home Shopping Network,” Obama said during a public meeting in Austin, Texas referring to the election campaign and rhetoric of the Republican presidential candidates.
“Then you’ve got the Republican establishment - they’re very exercised: We’re shocked that somebody would be saying these things. We’re shocked that somebody is fanning anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-Muslim sentiment.
“We’re shocked! We’re shocked that somebody could be loose with the facts. Or distort someone’s record—shocked!” Obama said, referring to the campaign narrative of Trump, amidst laughter and applause from the audience.
“How can you be shocked?” asked Obama. “This is the guy, remember, who was sure that I was born in Kenya. Who just wouldn’t let it go,” he said amidst laughter.
“All this same Republican establishment, they weren’t saying nothing. As long as it was directed at me, they were fine with it. They thought it was a hoot. Wanted to get his endorsement. And then now, suddenly, we’re shocked that there’s gambling going on in this establishment,” Obama said amidst another round of a laughter and applause.
“I want to be very clear. There are thoughtful conservatives good people in the Republican Party, good people who are Republican voters who care about poverty and they care about climate, and don’t resort to insults, and are troubled by what’s happening inside their own party,” he said.
But they’ve got to acknowledge why this happened - because some of them have been writing that, well, the reason our party is going crazy is because of Obama. Which is a pretty novel idea. The notion is Obama drove us crazy.
“Now, the truth is, what they really mean is their reaction to me was crazy—and now it has gotten out of hand. But that’s different. I didn’t cause the reaction. The reaction is something that they have to take responsibility for and then figure out how do we make an adjustment.”
Obama said the country is on the right path and not the other way round as being claimed by the Republican presidential candidates as he listed out some of achievements including economic recovery and killing of Osama bin Laden.
“I mean, imagine what Trump would say if he actually had a record like this. Instead of selling steaks. You’ve got all these candidates on the other side tripping all over themselves to talk down the economy when it is the bright spot in the world economy,” he said amidst applause.
“You’ve got folks talking about how weak America is when we’re the most powerful nation on Earth. You’ve got these folks saying immigration is our biggest crisis when illegal immigration is lower than it’s been in 40 years. Folks who say climate change isn’t real when last year was the warmest year on record. Bless their hearts, it’s just a different reality that they’re talking about,” he said.