Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump fired back at the White House Saturday, saying he has no obligation to defend President Obama from critics.
“Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!” Mr. Trump tweeted, referring to his refusal to correct a man who called the president a Muslim at a campaign event Thursday and said Muslims were a “problem” in the U.S.
“This is the first time in my life that I have caused controversy by NOT saying something,” Mr. Trump said. “If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you really think he would come to my rescue? No chance!”
At a campaign rally in New Hampshire, a Trump supporter told the candidate that Muslims were a “problem in this country,” that Mr. Obama is not American. He asked Mr. Trump, “When can we get rid of them?”
The White House criticized Mr. Trump Friday for not correcting the man. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Mr. Trump is actively seeking votes from people with offensive views.
Mr. Trump said if he had corrected the man, “the media would have accused me of interfering with that man’s right of free speech. A no win situation!”
“Christians need support in our country and around the world, their religious liberty is at stake!” Mr. Trump said. “Obama has been horrible, I will be great.”