President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s comments on a 2005 videotape about groping women would disqualify him from even a job at a convenience store.
Obama and Trump
Speaking at a campaign rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Obama said the choice was clear in the Nov. 8 election even before the tape was leaked last week showing Trump speaking crudely about women.
“Now you find a situation in which the guy says stuff that nobody would find tolerable if they were applying for a job at 7-Eleven,” Obama told the crowd, referring to the convenience store chain.
Trump said during Sunday night’s presidential debate he was embarrassed by the video, but dismissed it as “locker room talk.”
Obama also criticised some Republicans who have condemned the remarks but are still backing the New York businessman.
“The fact that now you’ve got people saying: ‘We strongly disagree, we really disapprove … but we’re still endorsing him.’ They still think he should be president, that doesn’t make sense to me,” Obama said.
Earlier on Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the remarks in the recording amounted to sexual assault.
Obama also took aim at Trump’s business credentials, referring to a New York Times report that showed he claimed a nearly billion dollar loss in one year on his taxes in the 1990s.
“They say the house always wins,” Obama quipped about Trump, who was a casino developer at the time. “I don’t know how that happens.”
Meanwhile in the latest opinion poll by Reuters/Ipsos, Trump has fallen further behind Hillary Clinton and now trails her by 8 points among likely voters.
The poll also showed that 1 in 5 Republicans said his vulgar comments about groping women disqualify him from the presidency.
The national tracking poll was launched after Sunday night’s second presidential debate, where Trump was pressed to explain his comments in a 2005 videotape about grabbing women’s genitalia. He described the remarks, which first surfaced on Friday, as “locker room” banter and apologized to Americans.
The poll released on Tuesday showed Clinton, the Democratic nominee, had increased her lead over Trump, the Republican nominee, to 8 percentage points on Monday from 5 points last week.
When asked to pick between the two major-party candidates, 45 percent of likely voters said they supported Clinton while 37 percent supported Trump. Another 18 percent said they would not support either candidate.
Trump was under pressure during Sunday’s debate to restore confidence in his struggling campaign after dozens of lawmakers repudiated him over the weekend. He hammered Clinton’s handling of classified information while serving as secretary of state and referred to her as “the devil.” At one point, he said he would jail Clinton if he were president.
Among those who said they watched at least portions of the debate, 53 percent said Clinton won while 32 percent said Trump won. The results fell along partisan lines, however: 82 percent of Democrats felt Clinton won, while 68 percent of Republicans felt that Trump won.
Among likely voters who watched the debate, 48 percent said they supported Clinton while 38 percent supported Trump.