US President Barack Obama tore into Republican nominee Donald Trump, saying he treats the presidential race as an ‘infomercial’ and shows no interest in gaining ‘rudimentary knowledge’ required to make ‘hard decisions’ on the job.
Obama, who arrived in the city on Sunday for his final UN General Assembly session, addressed about 65 people at a fundraiser hosted by restaurateur Danny Meyer and his wife.
Calling Trump, 70, as the ‘other guy’ in the election, Obama reiterated that the New York billionaire is not qualified to be President of the US and slammed him for not showing any interest in gaining knowledge required to make tough decisions on a daily basis in the White House.
“This guy is not qualified to be President. And he shows no interest in even gaining the rudimentary knowledge required to make really hard decisions on a day-to-day basis. There’s no curiosity, there’s no desire to get up to speed. It’s an infomercial. It’s a reality show,” Obama said.
He called it disturbing that Trump’s race for the White House is “tapping into some of our worst impulses as a country — ones that divide us rather than bring us together; ones that seek to put down people who have been historically vulnerable as opposed to lifting them up”.
Obama lauded Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her ‘unerring’ judgement, experience and discipline in every job that she has had, saying he is ‘absolutely confident’ she will be a ‘great President’.
He also pointed out that America has not had a woman president so far since the society is intimidated by powerful women.
“I will also say that there’s a reason why we haven’t had a woman President; that we as a society still grapple with what it means to see powerful women. And it still troubles us in a lot of ways, unfairly, and that expresses itself in all sorts of ways,” he said.
He described 68-year-old Clinton as “smart, who is tough, and most importantly, who cares deeply about making sure that this country works for everybody and not just a few”.
“And she’s displayed it again and again and again. And when I said that I think she is somebody who is as qualified as any individual who has ever run for this office, I meant it. And her judgment has been unerring, and she has been disciplined, and she has been extraordinarily effective in every job that she’s had,” he said.
Noting that while every election is billed as the most important of a lifetime, Obama said this is “true” for the 2016 race.
“So this should not be a close election, but it will be. And the reason it will be is not because of Hillary’s flaws, but rather because, structurally, we’ve become a very polarised society,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the American people will make a “good decision and we’re going to win this thing”.