President Obama will follow news coverage of the second Republican presidential primary debate on Wednesday night, but he won't be tuning in.
“He has better things to do,” Press Secretary Josh Earnest said when asked why Obama is skipping the debate, which will air on CNN.
Obama also did not watch the first debate in early August. But Earnest said Obama remains a “keenly interested observer” in the 2016 campaign. “It’s apparent he is following the race,” the spokesman said.
The president on Tuesday teed off on the Republican field for fueling an “anti-immigrant sentiment” in politics, saying candidates’ rhetoric is “contrary to who we are” as Americans.
“Unless you are a Native American, your family came from someplace else,” Obama said at a town hall in Iowa, an important early-voting state.
Earnest said Obama’s comments were not only aimed at the GOP presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE, who has called for mass deportations and the construction of a wall across the entire U.S.-Mexico border. Tough language on immigration has come from an “alarming number” of Republican candidates, Earnest added.