Barack Obama blasts Donald Trump's 'demeaning, degrading' comments on women

US President Barack Obama speaks at a fund-raising event in Chicago, Illinois.
US President Barack Obama speaks at a fund-raising event in Chicago, Illinois.PHOTO: AFP

CHICAGO (BLOOMBERG, AFP) - US President Barack Obama has said Mr Donald Trump's vulgar comments about women offer additional evidence of why the Republican candidate isn't fit to be his successor in the White House.

"It tells you that he's insecure enough that he pumps himself up by putting other people down,'' Mr Obama said Sunday (Oct 9, US time) at a Chicago fund-raiser for US Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth.

"It tells you he doesn't care much for the basic values of civility or respect. Are we really going to risk giving Donald Trump the power to roll back all the progress we've made?"

In his first public comment since the Friday release of a 2005 video in which Mr Trump boasted about groping women, Mr Obama linked the comments to others made by the Republican in the course of the campaign: "Demeaning women, degrading women, but also minorities, immigrants, people of other faiths, mocking the disabled."

Mr Obama's comments came after Vice-President Joe Biden said Saturday in a Twitter message that the Republican presidential nominee's conduct was worse than simply lewd.

"The words are demeaning,'' Mr Biden wrote.  "Such behaviour is an abuse of power. It's not lewd. It's sexual assault.''

 
 

Mr Trump, in a videotaped message hours after the video surfaced on Friday, said: "I said it. I was wrong. And I apologise."

The apology didn't stop several top Republicans from pulling their endorsements and calling on Mr Trump to quit the race. Mr Trump said in a series of Twitter messages over the weekend that he is getting "tremendous support'' and wouldn't end his candidacy. 

Later on Sunday, he is due to debate Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for the second time.

Mr Obama is scheduled to do more campaigning for Mrs Clinton this week, with trips to North Carolina and Ohio. He's repeatedly called Mr Trump "unfit'' for the presidency and has challenged Republican leaders about their support for their nominee.

After Mr Trump's disparaging comments about the Muslim parents of a slain American soldier in July, Mr Obama said Republican leaders' repeated denunciations of Mr Trump's statements "ring hollow'' if they continue to endorse him.