- The Washington Times - Monday, March 28, 2016

Sounding more alarmed, the White House said Monday that President Obama will do everything he can to make sure that Republican front-runner Donald Trump doesn’t win the presidency.

“We shouldn’t take Mr. Trump lightly,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “Even if he is the Republican nominee, the Democrats are going to need to mount a serious campaign to ensure that he is not elected the next president of the United States.”

He added, “That is certainly why I think you can expect that both the president and the vice president will be active on the campaign trail, making a forceful case for the Democratic nominee, whether that, frankly, is [Hillary] Clinton or Sen. [Bernard] Sanders.”

Vice President Joseph R. Biden, sounding more concerned than Mr. Obama has in the past about Mr. Trump’s candidacy, said Monday that Mr. Trump will be “extremely competitive” in Florida in November if he becomes the GOP nominee.

Mr. Earnest said the vice president “is giving voice to something that President Obama and others have regularly urged Democrats, which is that we shouldn’t take Mr. Trump lightly.”

Until now, however, Mr. Obama has said only that he doesn’t think Mr. Trump will become president.

The White House also hit back Monday on Mr. Trump’s assertion that the administration’s policy of accepting Syrian refugees is “insane, disgraceful, catastrophic and could lead to the downfall of the greatest nation on earth.”

Mr. Earnest said there was a “hullabaloo” recently in the Republican Party that the Obama administration should declare the Islamic State has committed genocide against its victims in Syria and Iraq.

“Are Republicans suggesting that somehow, we should turn our backs on people that we have now concluded are fleeing genocide in their own country?” Mr. Earnest said. “So they’re suggesting that somehow, we should be tough on ISIL and that we should protect people who might be victims of genocide, but we shouldn’t let them in the United States even after they’ve undergone two years of intensive background checks? That’s not right. This kind of rhetoric from the Republican Party is counterproductive to our national security and flies in the face of the values that our country hold dear.”

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