On Monday night, President Obama basically skewered the GOP presidential campaign during a speech he delivered at the ceremony for the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting. While he didn't mention him specifically, the president's words seemed to be aimed directly at Donald Trump.
In many ways, the president's remarks were also a strong rebuke of the media for enabling Trump via constant coverage.
But mainly, without specifically naming him, the president expressed concern for things we've seen from Trump along the campaign trail: bigoted rhetoric, violence at rallies, unfettered narcissism and a complete denial of basic facts.
The president contended the atmosphere of the GOP presidential campaign "tarnishes the American brand," and he said it has the potential to create long-term problems for the US in terms of its global reputation.
The number one question I am getting as I travel around the world or talk to world leaders right now is, what is happening in America -- about our politics. And it's not because around the world people have not seen crazy politics; it is that they understand America is the place where you can't afford completely crazy politics. For some countries where this kind of rhetoric may not have the same ramifications, people expect, they understand, they care about America, the most powerful nation on Earth, functioning effectively, and its government being able to make sound decisions.
It's difficult to disagree with the president on this subject.
The US wields an unparalleled amount of diplomatic, military and economic influence across the globe, and it's understandable world leaders and others are concerned about the prospect of Trump (or Cruz) becoming president.