Rancho Mirage, California: Donald Trump "will not be president" despite his commanding lead in the Republican field, President Barack Obama flatly declared on Tuesday, bluntly questioning Trump's temperament while asserting that a restive electorate would ultimately make a "sensible choice."
It was Obama's most scathing assessment of the Republican nomination battle to date as he argued that Trump's views were the norm, not the exception, in the Republican Party, and that the front-runner had no business being given access to nuclear weapons or deciding how to prevent a banking crisis.
'Trump will not be president' says Obama
President Barack Obama says he believes Donald Trump will not be US President, because he has faith in Americans to know that the Presidency is a serious job.
"Whoever is standing where I'm standing right now has the nuclear codes with them, and can order 21-year-olds into a firefight," he said, "and have to make sure that the banking system doesn't collapse and is often responsible for not just the United States of America but 20 other countries that are having big problems or are falling apart and are going to be looking for us to do something.
"The American people are pretty sensible," Obama said. "And I think they'll make a sensible choice in the end."
After hosting a summit of Southeast Asian leaders, the president said foreign observers "are troubled" by the rhetoric in the primaries and seemed to share the view himself.
Though voters are venting, he said, ultimately "reality has a way of intruding."
"I have a lot of faith in the American people. And I think they recognise that being president is a serious job," Obama said.
He then jabbed at Trump's celebrity.
"It's not hosting a talk show or a reality show. It's not promotion. It's not marketing. It's hard. And a lot of people count on us getting it right."
US President Obama said on Tuesday he is hearing from foreign leaders who are alarmed at Republican presidential candidates' positions on issues such as climate change and immigration.
Donald Trump, in his own words
The Republican presidential hopeful is known for his strong opinions, many of which are about himself.
"I think foreign observers are troubled by some of the rhetoric that's been taking place in these Republican primaries and Republican debates," Obama told reporters at the end of a summit with Southeast Asian leaders.
Americans will choose a new president in a November 8 election. Republicans and Democrats are currently battling in nominating contests to determine who will represent their parties in the race for the presidency.
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has made headlines for supporting a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States and controversial statements about immigrants. But Obama said the concern abroad is not limited to Trump.
"He may up the ante in anti-Muslim sentiment, but if you look at what other Republican candidates have said, that's pretty troubling too," Obama added.
Noting that other countries rely on the United States to back sound science, Obama also took aim at Republican resistance to strong action on climate change as "troubling to the international community."
Trump, a real estate mogul, was host of popular reality TV shows The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice before making his run for president.
Asked about Obama's comments at a town hall style event in Beaufort, South Carolina, Trump said Obama had done a "lousy job" and would have been a one-term president if he had decided to challenge him in the last election.
"This man has done such a bad job and set us back so far and for him to say that actually is a great compliment," Trump said.