President Obama lambasted Donald Trump at length on Wednesday, arguing that the Republican presidential nominee’s statements and actions should not be accepted as normal.
“This guy is temperamentally unfit to be commander in chief, and he is not equipped to be president. And this should not be a controversial claim. It really shouldn’t!” Obama exclaimed at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in Chapel Hill, N.C.
“I mean, it’s strange how over time, what is crazy gets normalized,” he continued. “And we just kind of just assume, ‘Well, you know what? He’s said 100 crazy things.’ So the 101st thing, we don’t even notice.”
Obama cited a string of Trump controversies in his speech, accusing the property magnate of stiffing small business owners, not paying “a dime” in federal income tax, endorsing torture and engaging in boorish behavior. He cited the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape, unearthed last month, which caught Trump boasting about how his celebrity status lets him kiss and grope women.
“Do you want somebody to be your voice who on tape brags about how being famous allows him to get away with sexual assault, who calls women ‘pigs’ or ‘dogs’ or ‘slobs’ and grades them on a scale of one to 10. That is not the voice of America. That’s not the better angels of our nature,” Obama said.
“We have to stop thinking his behavior is normal,” the president stressed, “that it’s within the bounds of what has up until this point been our normal political discourse.”
The speech came as Clinton’s campaign has aggressively targeted North Carolina, a large state in which polls show a close race and where high turnout among African-Americans is critical for her. If the Democratic nominee were to win the Tar Heel State on Nov. 8, Trump’s victory path would narrow significantly.
“We don’t win this election, potentially, if we don’t win North Carolina,” Obama said Wednesday. “So I hate to put a little pressure on ya, but the fate of the republic rests on your shoulders. The fate of the world is teetering, and you, North Carolina, are going to have to make sure that we push it in the right direction.”
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