CHICAGO (AP) — President Barack Obama said Sunday that he’s having a hard time believing some of the rhetoric coming from the top of the Republican presidential ticket, saying that nominee Donald Trump has demeaned women, minorities and immigrants, mocked the disabled and insulted veterans.
“I don’t need to repeat it — there are children in the room,” he said to laughter. Obama then listed an array of groups that he said Trump has insulted during the course of the campaign. He didn’t directly address a video obtained by The Washington Post and NBC News that was made public Friday showing the Republican presidential nominee bragging about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women who were not his wife.
“He’s insecure enough that he pumps himself up by putting other people down — not a character trait I would advise for somebody in the Oval Office,” Obama said.
Obama spoke at a fundraiser for Rep. Tammy Duckworth, the candidate he hopes will win his old U.S. Senate seat. She is running against Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, the incumbent.
The Illinois Senate race represents one of the Democratic Party’s best hopes this November. Democrats need a net gain of four seats to secure the majority if Clinton wins the presidency, as her vice president would break a tie. The party needs to net five seats if Trump wins.
Kirk was among the most aggressive Republicans in criticizing Trump. He said in a tweet that Trump should drop out and the “GOP should engage rules for emergency replacement.”
Obama said Trump’s comments during the course of the campaign, “tells you he’d be careless with the civility and the respect that a real, vibrant democracy requires.”
Before winning election to the House, Duckworth served in the Obama administration as an assistant secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs. She served in Iraq and lost her legs when her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. She spent the next year recovering at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
“She’s a tough lady, but with a big heart,” Obama said.
Duckworth wore a red-white-and-blue prosthetic for her right leg. She said she would try to rebuild trust between law enforcement and minority communities. She also said some people in Illinois have to travel outside of their neighborhoods for amenities many people take for granted such a food and clothing. She said that changing that would require investment in schools, roads and clean drinking water.
“Opportunity shouldn’t be something that requires a commute,” Duckworth said.
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