The 2016 race for the White House hasn’t exactly been the most friendly of affairs. Donald Trump’s camp has vitriol for Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton’s camp has vitriol for Trump’s camp. Heck, both the Democratic and Republican parties have supporters and power players that aren’t wild about their respective side’s presidential candidate. (John Kasich reportedly turned down a potential vice-presidency over it.) Campaign criticism has not been in short supply in 2016 and President Barack Obama has given a rather frank assessment of the GOP following Trump’s transition into the official candidate at the RNC.
“I think it says something about what’s happened to the Republican Party over the course of the last 8, 10, 15 years,” offered Obama during a taped interview on Face the Nation.
The commander-in-chief pointed to members of the Republican Party that he respected and understood as a point of contrast. His words harken back to what Obama portrays bipartisan time.
“If you think about what a Bob Dole, or a Jim Baker, or a Howard Baker, or a Dick Lugar, or a Colin Powell stood for, yeah, they were conservative. They were concerned about limited government, and balancing budgets, and making sure we had a strong defense,” he added. “But they also understood that our system of government requires compromise, that Democrats weren’t the enemy, that the way our government works requires us to listen to each other.”
Obama also offered up a glowing endorsement of Hillary Clinton’s credentials, although he does admit that the presumptive Democratic nominee isn’t “flashy.”
“You know, we don’t go vacationing together. I think that I’ve got a pretty clear-eyed sense of both her strengths and her weaknesses,” he told CBS’ John Dickerson in a wide-ranging interview for “Face the Nation” Friday. “And what I would say would be that this is somebody who knows as much about domestic and foreign policy as anybody, is tough as nails, is motivated by what’s best for America and ordinary people, understands that in this democracy that we have — things don’t always happen as fast as we’d like. And it requires compromise and grinding it out.”
It stands to reason that we’ll be hearing more from Obama about Clinton’s qualifications as campaign season continues on.