Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop in Beaufort, S.C., on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

BEAUFORT, S.C. -- President Obama and Republican front-runner Donald Trump exchanged insults on Tuesday, with the president insisting that Trump would not be elected president and then Trump insisting that the president's slam was actually a compliment.

"I continue to believe that Mr. Trump will not be president. I have a lot of faith in the American people, and I think they recognize that being president is a serious job," Obama said during a news conference in California on Tuesday. "It's not hosting a talk show or a reality show. It's not promotion. It's not marketing. It's hard."

Trump was asked about the comment during a campaign event in Beaufort, S.C., that was set up like a fireside chat. Van Hipp Jr., a former South Carolina GOP chairman, asked the candidate questions and read aloud the president's comment -- prompting the crowd to boo.

"He has done such a lousy job as president," Trump said, emphasizing each word. "You look at our budgets, you look at our spending, we can't beat ISIS, Obamacare is terrible -- we're going to terminate it, we're absolutely going to terminate it. And you look at everything, our borders are like Swiss cheese, this man has done such a bad job, he has set us back so far, and for him to say that is actually a great compliment."

Trump then shared this message for the president: "You're lucky I didn't run last time, when [Mitt] Romney ran, because you would have been a one-term president."