Obama says Republican politics created Trump’s candidacy

President Barack Obama on Thursday scoffed at the idea that he was to blame for the country's charged political climate, the rise of Donald Trump and the "crackup" of the Republican Party.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday scoffed at the idea that he was to blame for the country’s charged political climate, the rise of Donald Trump and the “crackup” of the Republican Party.

At a White House press conference with Canada’s new prime minister, Obama blamed Republican leaders who, he said, tolerated uncompromising politics and created an environment where “somebody like Donald Trump can thrive.”

The president argued that Trump, the billionaire Republican front-runner, is not an outlier. He said Trump’s policies, particularly on immigration, are not so different from the proposals of Republican rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

As Obama spoke, Republican candidates were preparing for a Thursday night debate and high-stakes elections in Florida and Ohio next Tuesday.

Meanwhile, anxious Republican officials were coming to terms with the idea that Cruz, their second-least-favourite presidential candidate, may be the only chance to stop Trump’s march to the nomination.

Trump renewed his criticism of the Texas senator, casting the rival he calls “Lying Ted” as too polarizing to break the Washington gridlock or win a general election.

“The problem with Ted is that he’ll never get anything done,” Trump told CNBC. “And the bigger problem is that it’s impossible for him to get elected.”

Some of Cruz’s would-be backers have those same fears. But they fear the prospect of a Trump candidacy more.

Florida Sen. Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are fighting with Cruz to emerge as the strongest alternative to Trump. For now at least, Cruz appears to be ahead.

Former Cruz adversary, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, has reluctantly embraced the idea of a Cruz nomination. Earlier in the year, Graham likened the choice between Cruz and Trump to “being shot or poisoned.”

“He’s not my preference,” Graham said of Cruz. “But we are where we are. And if Trump wins Florida and Ohio, I don’t know if we can stop him.”

The celebrity businessman’s critics hope to capitalize on what they see as another inflammatory reference about Muslims. “I think Islam hates us,” Trump said Wednesday night on CNN. “There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it.”

At the same time, Trump is calling on mainstream Republicans to unify behind hm.

“Whatever the establishment is, they should embrace what I’ve done,” he said on CNBC.

In the Republican race for delegates to the summer nominating convention, Trump has 458 and Cruz has 359. Rubio has 151 delegates and Kasich has 54. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

For the Democrats so far, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has won 762 pledged delegates compared to 549 for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, with 10 delegates from recent primaries still to be allocated. When superdelegates are included, Clinton leads 1,223 to 574, more than halfway to the 2,383 needed to win the Democratic nomination. Superdelegates are party and elected officials who can vote for any candidate.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Chasetin Morin
Photo from RCMP
Three men accused of assaulting Blackfalds RCMP officer going to trial

RCMP officer shot and wounded one of alleged attackers in December 2019

The Cenovus Energy Inc. logo seen at the company's headquarters in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
One-time costs of Husky takeover expected to be about $500 million, says Cenovus CEO

One-time costs of Husky takeover expected to be about $500 million, says Cenovus CEO

This drum circle was one of a multitude of activities held at The Hub on Ross in downtown Red Deer. The facility was permanently closed by the provincial government his week. (Advocate file photo.)
Many Red Deerians react with anger, dismay at closure of The Hub on Ross

Many disabled people can’t afford other recerational options, says guardian

Award-winning Calgary developer Brad Remington stands with Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer at the site of three multi-family condo complexes that are planned for Capstone, west of Carnival Cinemas. (Photo by LANA MICHELIn/Advocate staff).
$36M condo project on its way to Capstone development

Calgary developer plans to create 180 housing units to open in 2022

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Workers at Olymel's Red Deer pork processing plant are among those eligible for a $2-an-hour bonus because of the pandemic.
Red Deer Advocate file photo
Two Olymel workers test positive for COVID-19 in Red Deer

Two workers at Olymel’s pork processing facility in Red Deer have tested… Continue reading

Ryan, Falcons avenge earlier loss to Panthers, 25-17

Ryan, Falcons avenge earlier loss to Panthers, 25-17

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2015, file photo, former world boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. shows off his Russian passport during a news conference in Moscow, Russia. Mike Tyson and Jones got permission from California's athletic commission to return to the boxing ring next month because their fight would be strictly an exhibition of their once-unparalleled skills. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev, File)
Mike Tyson, Roy Jones promise a fight in “exhibition” return

Mike Tyson, Roy Jones promise a fight in “exhibition” return

David Hearn watches his putt on the seventh hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Greensboro, N.C. David Hearn, like everyone, has been deeply effected by the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Chris Carlson
Canada’s Hearn looks to shake off poor 2020 results with more consistent play

Canada’s Hearn looks to shake off poor 2020 results with more consistent play

Malnati birdies half of holes to take 1-shot lead in Bermuda

Malnati birdies half of holes to take 1-shot lead in Bermuda

Penny Oleksiak swims the 200 metre race during the 2018 Team Canada finals in Edmonton on Wednesday July 18, 2018. The number of young swimmers in Canada is dwindling because of barriers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Swimming Canada urges pools to accommodate youth, says can be done safely

Swimming Canada urges pools to accommodate youth, says can be done safely

Canada's Meaghan Mikkelson (12) and Marie-Philip Poulin (29) defends against United States' Hilary Knight (21) during the third period of a rivalry series women's hockey game in Hartford, Conn., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada's director of women's national teams, hopes a Rivalry Series against the United States can happen this winter.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michael Dwyer
Canadian women’s hockey team yearns for international competition

Canadian women’s hockey team yearns for international competition

Most Read