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Obama on Trump nomination: 'This is not a reality show'

President Barack Obama on Friday called on voters and officials to carefully vet presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his contentious statements and positions.

"This is not entertainment, this is not a reality show. This is a contest for the presidency of the United States. What this means is that every candidate, every nominee needs to be subject to exacting standards and genuine scrutiny," he told reporters at the White House.

Trump, who has never held elected office, has drawn criticism throughout the GOP primary with divisive remarks. The billionaire businessman opened his campaign last summer by saying Mexicans who come to the United States include rapists and drug dealers. He has also called for forcing Mexico to pay for a wall along the U.S. border and has advocated a temporary ban on Muslim immigration in response to terrorism concerns.

President Barack Obama speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington, Friday, May 6, 2016.
Carolyn Kaster | AP
President Barack Obama speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington, Friday, May 6, 2016.

Those incendiary positions have not stopped voters from supporting Trump. With a decisive win in Tuesday's Indiana primary, he effectively pushed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich out of the race, all but assuring that he will secure the pledged delegates needed to win the party's nomination.

Obama said not only Republican voters but also elected officials "need to make a decision about whether this is the guy who speaks for them and represents their values."

Also Friday, Obama renewed his calls to curb both legal and illegal tax avoidance, calling on Congress to act to close loopholes.

Obama said he wants to require banks and other financial institutions to "verify" and "report" who is behind shell corporations. The organizations, which do not have active operations, can help other businesses cut their tax burdens.

He added that he will likely not be able to reduce tax evasion until Congress acts, but was doubtful it would happen during his final months in office.

"I think it's fair to say that Congress will not act on a big tax reform plan before the election," he said.

Obama spoke after the release of a lackluster April jobs report. He noted that the U.S. needs to guard against negative trends in the global economy, which is "not growing as fast as it should be."

The economy created 160,000 jobs in April, well below the expected gains of 202,000. The unemployment rate held steady at 5 percent, while wages saw a 2.5 percent annualized gain.

The numbers, well below the average job creation for the last 12 months, do little to inspire confidence in a sluggish economy. Last month's initial reading showed gross domestic product grew only 0.5 percent in the first quarter.

It is on pace for just a 1.7 percent rise in the second quarter, according to the Atlanta Fed.