US President Barack Obama has slammed Republicans for continuing to support Donald Trump despite criticising him for a leaked tape in which he boasted about sexually assaulting women, local media reported.
“You can’t have it both ways here. You can’t repeatedly denounce what is said by someone and then say ‘but I’m still going to endorse him to be the most powerful person on the planet and to put them in charge’,” he said at an election rally in North Carolina.
In the 2005 video published on Friday, Republican presidential candidate Trump bragged about grabbing women “by the pussy.” He has since apologised and dismissed his comments as “locker room talk.”
The scandal the tape unleashed has deepened the fracture within his party less than a month before the election, with dozens of senior Republicans withdrawing their support for him.
“You don’t have to be a husband or a father to hear what we heard just a few days ago and say, ‘that’s not right’,” Obama added. “You just have to be a decent human being to say that’s not right.
“If it makes you mad, then you say that’s not somebody I want representing the United States of America. You can do something about it, North Carolina!” Obama continued, urging the crowd to vote for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Obama also reflected on his previous election races with Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney and says while they disagreed on policy, he never considered his opponents to not be honourable.
But Obama says this contest is different and that Trump “doesn’t have the temperament, or the judgment, or the knowledge, or apparently, the desire to obtain the knowledge, or the basic honesty that a president needs to have.”
“And that was true even before we heard about his attitude toward women,” Obama said.
Obama says the closer the US gets to election day, the clearer the choice becomes.