On Friday President Obama dismissed Donald Trump’s criticism of conditions in the United States, saying crime is actually down, the economy is up, and most Americans believe things are going relatively well.
Obama said, “This idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse — this vision of violence and chaos everywhere — doesn’t really jibe with the experience of most people. We’re not going to make good decisions based on fears that don’t have a basis in fact.”
The president, who will speak at next week’s Democratic convention on behalf of party candidate Hillary Clinton, said he would “let let the American people judge” how well Trump and the Republicans made their case at this week’s GOP conclave.
Obama spoke at a joint news conference with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico, a meeting that invited questions about the Republican candidate who has criticized Mexican trade policies, accused it of sending “rapists” to the United States, and proposed an anti-migrant wall along the U.S. southern border.
Nieto avoided discussing the U.S. election in detail, saying he respected both Trump and Clinton and that Mexico would not take a position on the race. The president said Mexico will take “a constructive attitude” toward the winner of the November election.
“The Mexico government will be observing with great interest,” he said.
Obama, citing the “heated rhetoric” from Trump about immigration and trade with Mexico, said the United States “values tremendously” the relationship with its southern neighbor, and that both countries benefit from it.