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Donald Trump to President Obama: I could have beaten you in 2012

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."

President Obama said on Feb. 16 that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would not become president because he said that "being president is a serious job." (Video: Reuters)

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."