Vientiane, Laos (CNN)President Barack Obama warned Thursday against becoming immune to Donald Trump’s more outlandish statements, arguing that the stakes of the US presidential contest were too high for Americans to tune out.
“People start thinking behavior that in normal times we would consider completely unacceptable and outrageous becomes normalized,” Obama said during a news conference at the tail end of his visit to Laos.
“People start thinking that we should be grading on a curve,” he said. “But I can tell you from the interactions I have had over the last eight or nine days with foreign leaders that this is serious business.”
Obama has repeatedly warned against the perils of the Trump presidency, suggesting the Republican nominee would be woefully unprepared to take office should he win in November.
When he’s abroad, Obama has relayed fears from foreign leaders, who he says question him often about the state of the US presidential contest.
“You actually have to know what you are talking about and you actually have to have done your homework,” Obama said Thursday. “When you speak, it should actually reflect thought-out policy you can implement.”
Obama: ‘Wacky ideas’ should be challenged
Obama was speaking just before boarding Air Force One for a long return journey to Washington.
One of his first events when he returns is a solo campaign stop for Hillary Clinton, the second time he’s hit the campaign trail for the Democratic candidate.
Obama declared last month that Trump was unqualified to succeed him as commander in chief, and reiterated his view Thursday.
“Every time he speaks that opinion is confirmed,” Obama said.
“I think the most important thing for the public and the press is to just listen to what he says and follow-up and ask questions about what appear to be either contradictory or uninformed or outright wacky ideas.”