Washington, Mar 10: President Barack Obama today dismissed the notion that the meteoric rise of Donald Trump is a result of his policies and said the Republican presidential front-runner's positions on immigration and other issues are not much different from those of the party's other candidates.
"I am not going to do is to validate some notion that the Republican crack-up that's been taking place is a consequence of actions that I've taken. There are thoughtful conservatives, who are troubled by this, who are troubled by the direction of their party," Obama told a White House news conference along with the visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Obama alleged that the Republican political elites and many of its information outlets -- social media, news outlets, talk radio, television stations -- have been feeding its base, for the last seven years, a notion that everything he do is to be opposed that "cooperation or compromise somehow is a betrayal."
"The tone of that politics, which I certainly have not contributed to -- I have not -- you know, I don't think that I was the one to prompt questions about my birth certificate, for example. I don't remember saying, hey, why don't you ask me about that?," he asked.
"Why don't you question whether I'm American or whether I'm loyal or whether I have America's best interests at heart? Those aren't things that were prompted by any actions of mine," he said. "So what you're seeing within the Republican Party is, to some degree, all those efforts, over a course of time, creating an environment where somebody like a Donald Trump can thrive.
You know, he's just doing more of what has been done for the last seven and a half years," he added. Obama said Trump's positions are not different from those of the other Republican presidential candidates.
"In terms of his positions on a whole range of issues, they're not very different from any of the other candidates. It is not as if there's a massive difference between Trump's position on immigration and Cruz's position on immigration," he noted.
"Trump might just be more provocative in terms of how he says it but the actual positions aren't that different. For that matter, they're not that different from Rubio's positions on immigration, despite the fact that both Cruz and Rubio, their own families, are the products of immigration and the openness of our society," Obama said.
"I am more than happy to own the responsibility as President, as the only officeholder who is elected by all the American people, to continue to make efforts to bridge divides and help us find common ground," he said.