'Come on, man': Barack Obama questions Donald Trump's credentials as working class champion

'Usually the house wins,' Mr Obama said on the stump in Ohio. 'Unless Trump owns the house - then it loses a billion dollars'

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The Independent US

Barack Obama almost appeared to be enjoying himself as he launched another blistering attack on Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, at a rally in Cleveland on Friday.

The US President, stumping on behalf of his fellow Democrat and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, delivered a string of zingers at the property developer’s expense, needling Mr Trump for having positioned himself as the candidate of the working class. 

“The guy spent 70 years on this earth showing no regard for working people,” Mr. Obama said. “There’s no record that he’s supported minimum wage or supported collective bargaining, invested in poor communities. And then suddenly, he’s going to be the champion of working people? Come on. Come on, man.”

Mr Obama urged Ohio voters to reject Mr Trump’s “dark and pessimistic vision,” and mocked the Republican’s recent claims that the media and the Clinton campaign were part of a conspiracy by the “global elite” to deny him the presidency.

“This is a guy who spent all his time hanging around trying to convince everybody he was a global elite,” Mr Obama said. “Talking about how great his buildings are, how luxurious and how rich he is and flying around everywhere. All he had time for was celebrities and now suddenly he's acting like he’s a populist out there.”

Referring to Mr Trump’s supposed business acumen, Mr Obama noted the former Apprentice star’s failed casino ventures and the $916m deduction he claimed on his 1995 income tax return. “Usually the house wins, unless [Mr Trump] owns the house,” Mr Obama said. “Then it loses a billion dollars.”

Mr Obama was speaking at the same time as two more women went public with claims that they had been sexually assaulted by the GOP nominee, who has been hit at least half a dozen such allegations since the emergence of a 2005 video in which he can be heard boasting about kissing women uninvited and “grabbing” them “by the p****”.

A day before Mr Obama’s Cleveland rally, First Lady Michelle Obama delivered an impassioned address of her own in New Hampshire, denouncing Mr Trump for his words and alleged actions, which she said fell far short of the “basic standards of human decency.”

The President’s blunt denunciation extended to those Republicans who had unendorsed Mr Trump after hearing the 2005 tape, and who previously, Mr Obama said, “stood by silently and … didn’t say anything. What, you weren’t appalled earlier when he was saying degrading things about women?”

Ms Clinton leads Mr Trump in Ohio by an average poll margin of less than two per cent, and the Obamas not only denounced the Republican, but also made the case for Ms Clinton as an inspiring candidate. His former Secretary of State is the most qualified person ever to run for president, Mr Obama said, adding: “She’s going to be great at it."

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