White House: Trump comment ‘disqualifies’ him
Donald Trump’s statement that Muslims should be banned
from entering the United States “disqualifies” him from being
president, the White House spokesman said Tuesday.
“The fact is what Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies
him from serving as president,” White House press secretary
Josh Earnest said in Tuesday’s press briefing. For a White
House administration to so heavily weigh in on an opposing
party’s nominating contest is a highly unusual step.
Earnest noted first that every president must take an oath to
“preserve, protect and defend” the U.S. Constitution, and
thus, he said, Trump would not qualify.
The GOP front-runner on Monday released a statement
calling for the U.S.
proposal was met with widespread criticism, including from
several candidates in his own party.
But Earnest had harsh words for the GOP as a whole, too,
saying all GOP presidential candidates have signed a pledge
to support whoever is the eventual nominee.
“For Republican candidates for president to stand by their
pledge to support Mr. Trump, that in and of itself is
disqualifying,” 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.”
Scalise, who a reporter said once joked he was like white
supremacist David Duke “without the baggage,” and a
leaked Republican Senate campaign memo instructing
candidates how to ride voters’ support for Trump.
He also noted that House Speaker Paul Ryan Tuesday said
he would vote for Trump if he were the GOP nominee —
though he omitted the fact that Ryan unequivocally rebuked
Trump’s comments and said they were “not who we are as
a party” and unconstitutional.
The White House spokesman on Tuesday also called Trump
a “carnival barker.”
“The Trump campaign for months now has had a dustbin of
history-like quality to it,” Earnest said.