Washington:Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s statements and record must be subject of a public debate ahead of the November general election, U.S President Barack Obama has said. “He has a long record that needs to be examined, and I think it’s important for us to take seriously the statements he’s made in the past,” the President said in his first response after the Republican Party declared Mr. Trump as its presumptive nominee.
The President also lamented that the reporting on the ongoing campaign was “emphasising the spectacle and the circus”. The American people have good judgment and instincts “as long as they get good information”. “This is not entertainment. This is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States.”
The turmoil on the Republican side worsened on Friday with two senior party functionaries, Senator Lindsay Graham and former governor Jeb Bush, declaring that they would not vote for Mr. Trump. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had a day earlier said he was not “yet ready” to support Mr. Trump, will be meeting with the nominee next week.
But that is not how Mr. Trump himself sees the unity moves. Sticking to his style and content, he ridiculed Mr. Graham and Mr. Bush in public speeches and declared his unilateral agenda for the meeting with the speaker: “I’m gonna say, ‘Look, this is what the people want’.”
Mr. Obama cautioned against Mr. Trump’s populist agenda. “If they (candidates) take a position on international issues that could threaten war, or has the potential of upending our critical relationships with other countries, or would potentially break the financial system, that needs to be reported on. And the one thing that I’m going to really be looking for over the next six months is that the American people are effectively informed about where candidates stand on the issues…” The President also played peacemaker in the Democratic nomination contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Praising Mr. Sanders for raising issues that are important, Mr. Obama said, he, Ms Clinton and Mr. Sanders agreed on most things.
“At some point, there’s going to be a conversation between Secretary Clinton and Bernie Sanders about how we move towards the convention.”
That point will be only after the Democratic convention, according to Mr. Sanders. “…We are going to fight as hard as we can on the floor of the Democratic convention to make sure that we have a progressive platform that the American people will support…Then, after that, certainly Secretary Clinton and I can talk and see where we go from there,” Mr. Sander said without ruling out he being the running mate of Ms. Clinton.