NEW YORK >> Asked during a taping of “The Tonight Show” whether he thought Republicans were happy with their presidential nominee, President Barack Obama had a quick answer.
“We are,” he said to immediate laughter.
“I don’t know how they’re feeling.”
But while Obama and fellow Democrats are feeling more confident about the general-election matchup shaping up between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Obama said that what is good politics for Democrats in the short term isn’t necessarily good for the country.
“I am worried about the Republican Party,” he told host Jimmy Fallon in the interview, which will air in full Thursday.
“Democracy works; this country works when you have two parties that are serious and trying to solve problems.”
Obama said the public should want a Republican nominee “to be somebody who could do the job if they win” — implying he does not think Trump could. And Obama said he views Trump’s rise as an outgrowth of the GOP’s tactics during his presidency.
“I haven’t been enjoying over the last seven years, watching some of the things that have happened in the Republican Party,” he said. “What’s happened in that party, culminating in this current nomination, I think is not actually good for the country as a whole. It’s not something Democrats should wish for.”
In the interview, Obama also discussed the Democratic race, praising Bernie Sanders and Clinton while expressing confidence the party will unite for the general election.
“My hope is, is that over the next couple of weeks, we’re able to pull things together,” he said.