President Barack Obama on Friday said presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has a “long record that needs to be examined” and insisted that the race for the White House is “not a reality show.”
“I think I just want to emphasize the degree to which we are in serious times and this is a serious time, this is not entertainment, this is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States, ” Obama told reporters in his first public comments about since Trump’s GOP rivals ended their presidential campaigns.
Obama also said the media needs to play a role in vetting the candidates policies and not focus of the “circus.”
“If they take a position on international issues that could threaten war, or has the potential of upending our critical relationships with other countries, or would potentially break the financial system, that needs to be reported on,” Obama said in the White House briefing room.
Obama has previously been critical of Trump’s foreign policy statements, saying they show the former reality television star doesn’t know much about “the world generally.”
“There is no doubt that there is a debate that’s taking place inside the Republican Party about who they are and what they represent,” Obama added when asked his reation to House Speaker Paul Ryan saying he is not yet ready to back Trump.
Weighing in on the ongoing Democratic race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, the president said “let’s let the process play itself out,” but also acknowledged “everybody knows what that math is.”
Sanders must win a hefty 84 percent of the remaining delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, according to NBC News’ tally.
And despite his willingness to opine about the 2016 race, Obama said he had “no thoughts” when asked about Donald Trump’s Cinco de Mayo tweet touting his love for Hispanics by enjoying a taco bowl.
“As a general rule, I don’t pay attention to Mr. Trump’s tweets,” he said.
Please refresh for updates. This article originally appeared on NBCNews.com.