Obama says Trump not qualified to be president

Outgoing US President Barack Obama said Republican candidate Donald Trump was not qualified to be the president.
Outgoing US President Barack Obama said Republican candidate Donald Trump was not qualified to be the president. PHOTO: AFP

VIENTIANE (AFP) - Outgoing President Barack Obama on Thursday (Sept 8) condemned Mr Donald Trump as unsuitable to be commander-in-chief, after the Republican presidential nominee blasted US military brass and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I don't think the guy's qualified to be president of the United States and every time he speaks, that opinion is confirmed," he said in unusually caustic language while overseas.

Mr Obama is in Laos for a summit with South-east Asia leaders and his final trip to Asia.

"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," Mr Obama said.

"You actually have to know what you are talking about and you actually have to have done your homework. When you speak, it should actually reflect thought out policy you can implement."

Mr Trump on Wednesday raised eyebrows by saying that Russia's president was "far more" of a leader than Mr Obama.

Mr Putin is "very much of a leader," Mr Trump said in a televised interview. "It's a very different system, and I don't happen to like the system. But certainly in that system he's been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader."

He also drew fire for criticising the US military.

"The generals have been reduced to rubble," he said, before noting that he had "faith in certain of the commanders".

The bombastic mogul will face Mrs Hillary Clinton in November's election, which the Democratic former first lady is tipped to win.

Mr Trump has previously angered many in the military community with mocking remarks against US Senator and former prisoner of war John McCain for being captured in Vietnam.

Mr Obama is expected hit the campaign trail with Mrs Clinton when he returns to the United States, with voter turnout likely to be a key theme.

Mr Obama won the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections handily by mustering large numbers of young, black, Latino and Asian voters to go to the polls.