President Obama’s White House press conference on Friday was supposed to center on the economy. He spent a few minutes telling reporters that he is intent on closing tax loopholes for the wealthy (who need to pay their “fair share”) and he wants to require banks to report on who owns companies they deal with. Little did he mention that the U.S. economy experienced the slowest job growth in seven months.
Yet, the conversation quickly turned to the 2016 election and what the president thinks about Donald Trump now all but securing the GOP nomination.
“He has a long record that needs to be examined,” Obama said. “This is not entertainment. It’s not a reality show.”
Every candidate, every nominee needs to be subject to scrutiny and standards, he continued. They need to have solutions to problems that are actually “plausible.”
In particular, Obama is concerned that the media is not doing its job to provide the American people a narrative that is focused on facts, not sensationalism.
“I’m concerned about the degree to which reporting emphasizes the spectacle on the surface,” he said. “The American people have good judgment as long as they are given good information.”
Asked about whether Bernie Sanders should drop out of the Democratic primary and pave the way for Hillary Clinton, Obama said to “let the process play itself out.”
The president then weighed in on Speaker Paul Ryan telling CNN he is "not ready" to support Trump, saying “there is no doubt that there is a debate taking place” in the Republican Party into what they are and what they represent. “It’s up to the voters,” he said, to make a decision about whether this is a guy who speaks for and represents them.