President Barack Obama launched a no-holds barred attack on the Republican field of presidential candidates on Monday night – and reduced a Broadway theater packed with Democratic donors to fits of laughter with his barbs.
The President has so far refrained from commenting on the field of 15 candidates, but he appeared unable to resist giving his opinion after the much-criticized CNBC debate last week that saw the GOP sever ties with the NBC networks.
Obama mocked the Republican presidential candidates who’d called him weak, and poked fun at what happened at the last GOP debate, saying they ‘can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators’.
The debate was widely criticized in Republican circles for not giving the candidates a fair hearing, being too aggressive, straying off the announced topic of economics and finance, and pitting candidates against one another.
Obama, perhaps feeling more free to speak about the election now that Vice President Joe Biden announced that he’s not running a presidential campaign, joined in when he compared the chaos to his handling on Vladmir Putin.
‘Let me tell you, if you can’t handle those guys, I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you,’ he said, according to the Washington Post.
Candidates with lower poll numbers have also expressed anger about being sidelined to less-watched second-tier debates before their higher-polling competitors take the stage.
The Republican party has since dropped a plan to partner with NBC for a debate on February 26.
Deviating from his typical fundraiser spiel, Obama said the 2016 Republican presidential candidates seem to ‘occupy a different reality’ in which the country has taken a perilous turn since he took office nearly seven years ago.
‘According to them, everything was really good in 2008, when we were going through the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes,’ Obama said. ‘This, apparently, was the golden age that I messed up.’
‘And they’re so glum,’ Obama added, barely containing his feelings about the GOP cast of characters seeking his job. ‘They’re really so frustrated.’
Read more: dailymail.co.uk