The White House today declared that Donald Trump disqualified himself from the presidential race with his proposal to block Muslims from entering the United States.
Press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that President Obama doesn’t have any additions to his schedule to show solidarity with the Muslim community; Earnest noted Obama talked about how Americans should show respect to Muslims “quite extensively” during his primetime Oval Office address on Sunday.
“Let me just step back and say that the Trump campaign, for months now, has had a dustbin of history-like quality to it, from the vacuous sloganeering to the outright lies to even the fake hair, the whole carnival barker routine that we’ve seen for some time now,” Earnest said.
“The question now is about the rest of the Republican Party and whether or not they’re going to be dragged into the dustbin of history with him. And right now, the current trajectory is not very good. Earlier this year, House Republicans elected to their leadership somebody who famously bragged to a reporter that he’s David Duke without the baggage.” That was a reference to House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.).
“Earlier this month, we saw that the executive director of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee was advising candidates about how they could ride the Trump wave,” Earnest continued. “And just today — today, the newly elected speaker of the House said that he would vote for Donald Trump for president if he’s the party’s nominee.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) condemned Trump’s comments. Republicans in the House have already formally pledged to support the eventual GOP nominee.
Earnest acknowledged that oath, “but the fact is, the first thing a president does when he or she takes the oath of office is to swear an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. And the fact is that what Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president, and for Republican candidates for president to stand by their pledge to support Mr. Trump, that in and of itself is disqualifying… any Republican who’s too fearful of the Republican base to admit it has no business serving as president, either.”
Pressed later on why he made fun of Trump’s hair, Earnest replied, “I guess I was describing why it would be easy for people to dismiss the Trump campaign as not particularly serious.”
“Because he’s got a rather outrageous appearance…. That’s a hallmark of his campaign and his identity, though. That’s the point that I’m trying to cite there.”
The press secretary added: “I guess I’m happy to be fact-checked.”