President Obama undoubtedly had a great time reading a final round of “Mean Tweets” on Monday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, but he also sat down with the talk show host to discuss the election. And since half the race for the White House includes Donald Trump, Kimmel couldn’t help but ask the president about the Republican nominee’s antics on and off the campaign trail. Specifically, he wanted to know whether or not Obama “[wished he] were running against Donald Trump” so he could “climb in there” with the same tenacity as Vice President Joe Biden.
Laughter at Uncle Joe’s latest shenanigans aside, Obama said he thought Hillary Clinton was “doing just fine” against Trump. Though in referencing Michelle Obama’s stringent speech against the Donald’s recent (and past) behavior regarding allegations of sexual assault, and his repeated touts about election rigging, the president adopted a more serious tone:
“There is something qualitatively different about the way Trump has operated in the political sphere. I ran against John McCain. I ran against Mitt Romney. Obviously I thought that I could do a better job, but they’re both honorable men, and if they had won, then I wouldn’t worry about the general course of this country… What we haven’t seen before is somebody questioning the integrity of elections and the will of the people.”
Obama went on to list several examples of Trump’s penchant for “putting down” various groups and individuals, like women and Muslim-Americans, which he sees as evidence for Trump’s “qualitatively different” approach to politics. Or as his implied insult goes, the kind of politics enacted by those who aren’t “honorable.”
“If you are willing to say anything and do anything, even when it undermines everything that’s been built by previous generations, that’s a problem,” Obama concluded. “That’s why I take this election very seriously.”