- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 23, 2016

President Obama has not kept secret his disdain for likely GOP nominee Donald Trump, and so it was with enthusiasm that he joined the offensive against the real estate tycoon and hit him where it hurts — knocking his business prowess.

Mr. Obama challenged the billionaire’s reputation as a business titan, saying Mr. Trump’s peers are not impressed by him.

“There’s no successful businessman in America who actually thinks the most successful businessman in the country is Donald Trump. I know those guys and I guarantee you, that’s not their view,” Mr. Obama said in an interview published this week by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Mr. Trump, who wrote the best-seller “The Art of the Deal,” has made his business savvy a chief argument for his White House run. He has promised to broker smart deals on trade and on the international stage so that America can start winning again.

His campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” reflects his belief that better dealmaking can restore the country’s luster, grow the economy and project strength around the world.

Mr. Obama had said he warns young people he meets that, as difficult as it seems to get ahead these days, they should not be duped by people who promise a return to the “good old days.”

SEE ALSO: Court’s split deportation ruling gives campaign ammo to Trump, Clinton camps

“Because the good old days aren’t,” said the president. “I’m now old enough where I remember some of those good old days.”

The president’s jab echoed a line of attack from likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who has accused Mr. Trump of being a huckster who profits at the expense of others.

Mrs. Clinton has called her GOP rival a “fraud” and said he is trying to “scam America.”

The rhetoric from Mr. Obama, who made Mrs. Clinton his secretary of state and endorsed her for president this month, increasingly has dovetailed with the Clinton campaign’s messaging.

The White House this week focused on innovation and economic progress during the Obama presidency. The business theme coincided with Mrs. Clinton delivering back-to-back speeches on the economy.

Her speeches included full-throated attacks on Mr. Trump and promises that she would accelerate the progress started by Mr. Obama when he pulled the country out of the Great Recession.

“In America, we don’t begrudge people being successful, but we know they shouldn’t do it by destroying other people’s dreams,” Mrs. Clinton said in a speech Tuesday. “We cannot put a person like this, with all his empty promises, in a position of power over our lives. We can’t let him bankrupt America like we are one of his failed casinos.”

Mr. Obama ripped into Mr. Trump’s professional reputation as he prepared for a speech Friday at the federally-sponsored Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at Stanford University.

The president launched GES at the start of his presidency to spread the American entrepreneurial spirit to Muslim countries and build more economically prosperous, secure and globally connected communities around the world, according to the White House.

Mr. Obama also lashed out at Mr. Trump following the June 12 attack in Orlando, Florida, where a gunman professing allegiance to the Islamic State killed 49 people in the most deadly assault in the U.S. since 9/11.

In a White House speech, the president went on a tirade against Mr. Trump for proposing a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S. in order to combat terrorism.

“Are we going to start treating all Muslim-Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to start discriminating against them because of their faith?” fumed Mr. Obama. “Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want. It doesn’t reflect our democratic ideals. It won’t make us more safe. It will make us less safe.”

Mr. Obama has pledged to soon begin stumping for Mrs. Clinton and he’s already given America a glimpse of the campaign ahead.

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