President Barack Obama took no prisoners Thursday night during a speech in Ohio, bashing Republicans who, for a year, had "stood silently" as Donald Trump attacked nearly every racial and religious minority group — but now wanted "points" for finally disavowing Trump after he bragged about sexually assaulting women.
Obama listed off all of the groups Trump has attacked — Mexicans, Muslims, Gold Star families, people with disabilities — and questioned why that hadn't been enough to denounce his candidacy. He said Republicans who waited until a month before the election to disavow Trump did so out of "political expediency."
"Why was that OK?" Obama rhetorically asked Republicans who waited until now — after the leak of his predatory comments — to pull their support.
"You can't wait until that finally happens and then say, 'That's too much, that's enough,' and then say somehow you are showing some type of leadership and deserve to be elected to the United States Senate," Obama said. "In fact, I'm more forgiving of the people who actually believe it than the people who know better and stood silently by out of political expediency."
Obama also put the blame for Trump's rise solely on the GOP's shoulders, saying party leaders and conservative pundits fed "their base all kinds of crazy" for years, and then wondered why Trump won their party's nomination.
He said Republicans spewed "all that bile, all that exaggeration," and that Trump merely "slapped his name on it and took credit for it."
"This is the nominee you get," Obama told Republicans. "You make him possible."
Obama's message — tying the GOP squarely to Trump's rhetoric — is a sign Democrats are growing more confident of Hillary Clinton's lead.
While Democrats had earlier sought to put distance between Trump and the GOP to try and win over moderate Republicans, Obama's speech is proof that Democrats now think Trump's slide in the polls will take out down-ballot Republicans with him.