President Obama called a press conference on May 6 to tout the rising job numbers, but also to take questions and weigh in on the newly-minted presumptive nominee of the Republican party Donald Trump.
“I think I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a really serious job. This is not entertainment, this is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States,” Obama said, referencing Trump’s past as host of “The Apprentice.”
The president also emphasized a need to properly vet all the candidates saying that Trump has a “long record that needs to be examined” and called on reporters in the media to properly vet candidates.
Obama continued, warning of dangers that come with focusing on the “spectacle and circus.”
When asked about Speaker Paul Ryan’s refusal to endorse Trump yet, Obama first deferred to Speaker Ryan:
“I think you have to ask Speaker Ryan what the implications of his comments are,” he said smiling. He then pointed out that the primary season has lead to a debate in the Republican party:
“There is no doubt that there is a debate that’s taking place inside the Republican Party about who they are and what they represent,” Obama said.
He continued, saying that Republican officials and voters—particularly Republican women—need to decide: “is that the guy who I feel comfortable with in representing me and what I care about?”
Obama’s line of answers in this press conference foreshadows the rhetorical criticism of the presumptive Republican nominee from the president over the next six months: what are Trump’s credentials, what’s behind the media spectacle, and is Trump a representation of the American voter?
“I’ll leave it up to the Republicans to see how they ‘square their circle.'”
When asked if he had seen Donald Trump’s tweet with a taco bowl on Cinco de Mayo, Obama steered clear of it, saying he never reads Trump’s tweets:
“I have no thoughts on Mr. Trump’s tweets. As a general rule, I don’t pay attention to Mr. Trump’s tweets,” he said.