By Roberta Rampton
President Barack Obama has told donors that Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are doing Democrats a "favour" by exposing extreme views within their party on issues such as immigration and national security.
"I actually think that Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have done us a favour," Obama said on Friday, referring to policy positions that would restrict Muslims and Mexicans from entering the country.
Obama said Trump and Cruz, the two front-runners in the Republican nomination contest ahead of the November 8 presidential election, have upset mainstream "establishment" Republicans with their insurgent campaigns.
The President told about 100 people at a fundraising dinner that Trump had laid bare what some in the Republican party had been saying for years.
"He said, 'You know what? I can deliver this message with more flair, with more panache,'" Obama said.
Obama continued to mock Trump throughout the fundraising event. He referenced Trump’s continued questioning of whether Obama, who was born in Hawaii, was actually born outside the United States.
"In 10 months, I will no longer be president of the United States. But in 10 months, I will - contrary to Mr Trump's opinion - still be a citizen of the United States," he said, drawing laughter and cheers from the crowd.
The fundraising event was Obama's fourth stop on a fundraising swing through San Francisco and Los Angeles.