President Barack Obama told NBC’s “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon that he’s “worried about the Republican Party” in an interview set to run Thursday night.
The president said that although the statement may reek of insincerity to some, he believes the country needs to have two “serious” parties.
“But democracy works – this country works – when you have two parties that are serious and trying to solve problems,” he said. “And they’ve got philosophical differences, and they have fierce debates, and they argue, and they contest elections. But at the end of the day, what you want is a healthy two-party system.”
And aiming his argument at presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, Obama said “you want the Republican nominee to be somebody who could do the job if they win.”
And you want folks who understand the issues. And where you can sit across the table from ’em and you have a principled argument. And ultimately can still move the country forward. So I am actually not enjoying, and I haven’t been enjoying over the last seven years, watching some of the things that have happened in the Republican Party, ’cause there’s some good people in the Republican Party. There are wonderful Republicans out in the country who want what’s best for the country and may disagree with me on some things but are good, decent people.
But what’s happened in that party culminating in this current nomination, I think, is not actually good for the country as a whole. It’s not something Democrats should wish for. And my hope is, is that maybe once you get through this cycle, there’s some corrective action, and they get back to being a center-right party. And Democratic Party being a center-left party. And we start figurin’ how to work together.
Obama has been increasingly critical of Trump in recent months after avoiding speaking about the Manhattan billionaire in the earlier stretch of the primary season. Last week, Obama took aim at many of Donald Trump’s policy positions during a speech in Indiana, attempting to discredit them one by one.
Recently, Trump attacked Obama over a poor jobs report released last week. The report found that just 38,000 jobs were added in May – the fewest since 2010.
“A massive blow to Obama’s message – only 38,000 new jobs for month in just issued jobs report,” Trump tweeted. “That’s REALLY bad!”
He also targeted Obama while chastising presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in another tweet early Thursday morning.
“Crooked Hillary Clinton will be a disaster on jobs, the economy, trade, healthcare, the military, guns and just about all else,” he posted. “Obama plus!”