In a fight between Obama and Trump, who would you put your money on?
President Obama can’t wait to take on Donald Trump.
Obama has been largely sidelined in the presidential contest, a last-year officeholder with high approval ratings who has repeatedly shown he likes to spar with political foes.
So on Friday, when the White House announced Obama would make a statement about the economy, the president knew he’d get asked about Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
And when he did, Obama was ready.
“We are in serious times, and this is a really serious job,” Obama said. “This is not entertainment; this is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States.”
The remarks previewed a part of the Obama-Clinton strategy against Trump: that he is untested and not ready for the White House, and that the GOP and media have fallen down on the job by failing to properly vet him.
The remarks also reflect the urgency Obama feels about defeating Trump.
Keeping the White House in Democratic hands, no matter who became the Republican nominee, has always been an important goal for Obama.
But the president has long shown a personal disdain for Trump, dating back to when the business mogul became a leader of the “birther” movement that questioned whether Obama was born in the United States.
Obama has repeatedly said Trump could damage the country’s standing abroad while attempting to roll back his accomplishments at home.
The president could face challenges in getting his message to break through against Trump, however, as the businessman has proved masterful at commanding media attention.
The president is still confronting a months-long dilemma about tipping the scales on the Democratic side.
Clinton, the party’s presidential front-runner, has a sizable delegate lead over Sanders. But the Vermont senator has said he won’t drop out before the Democratic National Convention in late July.
The president dodged a question Friday about whether Sanders should drop out of the race, although he acknowledged “everybody knows what the math is.”