Washington: Republican presidential aspirants and in particular front-runner Donald Trump have been using inflammatory and divisive comments to advance their campaign agenda, the White House said on Monday.
"There's no denying that one of the reasons there's so much energy at these events is that you have an aspiring political leader inflaming tensions and appealing to peoples' darker impulses and trying to capitalise on their anxieties to provide energy to his campaign," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at his daily news conference.
"And that is certainly not the approach that President Obama has taken throughout his campaigns and the president certainly does not believe that that is a tactic that political leaders in this country should support," he said.
Asked about the campaigning style of Trump, Earnest said he thinks a lot of this is about "some political candidates" engaging in a strategy to sow political divisions for their own benefit.
"Some of that does have policy implications and some of that does have relate to some of the ill-advised and divisive policy prescriptions that we've seen from some of the candidates," he said.
Referring to Republican presidential candidates call to deport 11 million illegal immigrants, Earnest said it does only further deepen and sow divisions and inflame anxieties and tensions that some Americans have.
"We have seen a number of candidates for president on the Republican side of the aisle making inflammatory, divisive comments to try to advance their campaign. And that's something that you've heard me on a number of occasions speak out against," Earnest said.
The White House remarks came after Trump accused Barack Obama of being a divisive president.
"I've been saying for a long period of time that he's the most divisive President maybe that we've ever had," Trump told the CNN.
"He had an opportunity to bring the country together. And whether it's white and black, or so many other did different forms of division, the fact is he's been the most divisive president I think we've ever had. I would be a total unity president," Trump claimed.
The 69-year-old real estate tycoon said he would do a great job for the African-American population in the country.
"I think that what's happened over the last seven years and soon to be eight years for African-Americans is really a shame and really disgraceful. I think the President of the United States should be ashamed of the job that he's done for African-Americans in our country," he said.
Earnest said prominent Republicans continue to line up and pledge support to Trump if he is the party nominee.
"And for the life of me, I just don't understand how they do that. It makes it a little hard to take seriously their hand wringing about his divisive rhetoric and the kinds of messages that he's delivering in the context of his political rallies," he said.