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Obama Says Putin Is Donald Trump's 'Role Model'

'Donald Trump is out there praising a guy[Putin], saying he’s a strong leader because he invades smaller countries, jails his opponents, controls the press and drives his economy into a long recession.'

RealClearPolitics

Transcript:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: So, my most important message is we cannot take this election for granted. We've got to fight for this thing. There are serious issues at stake in this election behind all the frivolous stuff that gets covered every day.

Let me just make a comment about that, because -- look, I'm not running this time but I sure do get frustrated with the way this campaign is covered. I'm just telling the truth. Guys in the back, I'm just telling you the truth about how I feel about this. Do you mind if I just vent for a second? 

You know, the -- you don't grade the presidency on a curve. This is serious business. And when we see folks talking about transparency. You want to debate transparency? You've got one candidate in this race who's released decade's worth of her tax returns. The other candidate is the first in decades to refuse to release any at all. You want to debate foundations and charities? One candidate's family foundation has saved countless lives around the world. The other candidate's foundation took money other people gave to his charity and then bought a six-foot tall painting of himself.

I mean, you know, he had the taste not to go for the ten-foot version. You want to debate who's more fit to be our president? One candidate who's traveled to more countries than any secretary of state ever has, has more qualifications than pretty much anyone who's ever run for this job, and the other who isn't fit in any way, shape or form to represent this country abroad and be its commander-in-chief. 

So, somehow as things go on because we've become so partisan, our standards for what's normal have changed. And Donald Trump says stuff every day that used to be considered as disqualifying for being president. And yet because he says it over and over and over again, the press just gives up and then you says, well, yeah, you know, okay. They did stuff -- 'I was opposed to the war in Iraq.' Well, actually, he wasn't, but they just accept it.

Just last week, [Trump] went on Russian state television to talk down our military and to curry favor with Vladimir Putin. He loves this guy.

Think about what’s happening to the Republican Party. They used to be opposed to Russia and authoritarianism... And now their nominee is out there praising a guy, saying he’s a strong leader because he invades smaller countries, jails his opponents, controls the press and drives his economy into a long recession.

If you control the media and you’ve taken away everybody’s civil liberties and you jail dissidents, that’s what happens. The pollster calls you up and says, do you support the guy who if you don’t support him he might throw you in jail, you say, ‘Yes, I love that guy.’

Think about the fact that that’s Donald Trump’s role model. I have to do business with Putin, I have to do business with Russia, that’s part of foreign policy, but I don’t go around saying, ‘That’s my role model.’ Can you imagine Ronald Reagan idolizing somebody like that?

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