Washington: Donald Trump sees Russian President Vladimir Putin as his role model, US President Barack Obama has alleged, saying this makes Republican presidential candidate not fit for the White House.
"You know the pollsters call you up and say do you support the guy who, if you do not support him, he might throw you in jail, you say yes I love that guy. But think about the fact that is Donald Trump's role model, I mean I have to do business with Putin, I have to do business with Russia but that is part of foreign policy," Obama said.
"But I do not go around saying that is my role model. Can you imagine Ronald Reagan idolising somebody like that? He saw America as a shining city on a hill; Donald Trump calls it a divided crime scene," he said on Tuesday at an election rally in Philadelphia while canvassing for 68-year-old Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
"He is not offering any real policies or plans, just offering division and fear. And he is betting that if he scares enough people he might just scare up enough votes to win this election. Look, I believe Americans are not a fearful people. We do not look for being ruled.
"Our power comes from those ideals first put in to place right here in Philadelphia, that all of us are created equal, that we the people can form a more perfect union. We believe in democracy, that is what we believe in. And we do not believe that one person is going to do it for us. It is what we can do together, achieve by us," Obama said.
"It is hard and slow and sometimes frustrating to persuade people and work with them and form coalitions, but that is the necessary work of self government and that is what Hillary Clinton understands, because she has been through it. She knows that in a democracy, in a big, diverse country like this one, it does not work if we just demonise each other and call each other names. She knows that love trumps hate," he said.
Obama slammed Trump, 70, for appearing on a Russian television.
"You got Donald, who just last week went on Russian state television, to talk down on our military and to curry favour with Vladimir Putin. He loves this guy. Think about what has happened to the Republican party. They used to be opposed to Russia and authoritarianism and fighting for freedom and fighting for democracy.
"Now their nominee is out there praising a guy, saying he is a strong leader because he invades smaller countries, jails his opponents, controls the press and drives his economy into a long recession. No, look I am actually being serious - think about this. And when the interviewer asked him well, why do you support this guy? He is a strong guy, look, he has got an 82 percent poll rating," Obama alleged.
"Well yes, Saddam Hussein had a 90 percent poll rating, I mean if you control the media and you have taken away everybody's civil liberties and you jail dissidents, that is what happens," Obama added.