The Slatest

Obama Says Trump’s “Unbelievable Rhetoric” Shows “He’s Insecure”

President Barack Obama speaks at the Coordinated Victory Fund Event in Chicago on Sunday.

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Hours before the presidential candidates were set to take the stage for the second presidential debate, President Barack Obama harshly criticized Donald Trump but in a way that made the Republican candidate seem more pathetic than anything else. “One of the most disturbing things about this election is just the unbelievable rhetoric coming at the top of the Republican ticket,” Obama said at an event in Chicago for Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who is running for Senate. “I don’t need to repeat it. There are children in the room.”

Obama made a clear reference to the video released Friday in which Trump can be heard boasting about sexual assault and said it was only part of a larger pattern. “Demeaning women, degrading women, but also minorities, immigrants, people of other faiths, mocking the disabled, insulting our troops, insulting our veterans. That tells you a couple things,” Obama said. “It tells you that he’s insecure enough that he pumps himself up by putting other people down—not a character trait that I would advise for somebody in the Oval Office.”

In addition to revealing his insecurities, Trump’s comments also show that “he doesn’t care much about the basic values that we try to impart to our kids. It tells you he’d be careless with the civility and the respect that a real, vibrant democracy requires.”

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.