White House press secretary Josh Earnest slammed the Republican Party early Thursday, blaming its obstructionism during President Obama's term for the rise of GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: 'I won the debate' P. Diddy: I always liked Trump's style Restive GOP freshmen eye entitlement reform MORE.
Speaking at an event sponsored by The Hill on President Obama's legacy, Earnest said Republicans' refusal to work with the president has had disastrous consequences for the GOP.
"In fact, what we've seen from congressional Republicans is to basically say, 'No, we're not gonna put forward an alternative; we're not gonna consider your ideas; we're just gonna oppose them and block them at every step,'" Earnest said.
"And I think that is precisely the reason that they have ended up with a leading presidential contender on the Republican side that doesn't share any of their policy ideas," he added. "It's because congressional Republicans in Washington have not been putting forward or advocating for specific ideas.
"Essentially, when you have congressional Republicans, Republican leaders in Washington, D.C., that don't stand for something, Republican voters across the country are in a position where they're going to fall for anything. In this case, they've fallen for Donald Trump."
Earnest was also asked if he believes that Trump is the result of acrimony from the GOP.
"I don't think it's as much acrimony, as much as it's that there are no Republican ideas," he responded.
He added that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellDHS urges states to beef up election security DHS chief: 21 states sought help over election hacking concerns 9/11 bill is a global blunder that will weaken US efforts abroad MORE (R-Ky.) would probably agree that many of Trump's policy proposals are inconsistent with Republican values.
"And the reason that Republican voters are falling for that is because there has not been a sustained effort on the part of Republicans to actually advocate for ideas," he said.
Earnest said the GOP has demonstrated this trend by refusing to consider a budget put forward by the president and refusing to holding a hearing to review the spending proposal.
"I think that is another good example of Republicans adopting a position of 'not that we just disagree with the president, but that we won't even consider any ideas that he's put forward, because he's the one who's put them forward.'"
—This report was updated at 9:47 a.m.