Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush says the United States is losing influence around the world because of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and censured Donald Trump for praising Putin as a strong leader.
Slamming fellow presidential aspirant Donald Trump for praising Vladimir Putin, Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush today said the Russian President was not an ally but a “bully” and “dictator”.
“Putin is organised to challenge the United States across the world now. He views his success by pushing us back. We’re losing influence around the world, and Putin is gaining influence. He’s not an ally. He’s a dictator. He’s a bully,”
“We need a president that actually will stand up for American interests whether it’s in Europe or the Middle East. That’s how you create a better relationship with Putin,” he said.
On Thursday, following the Russian president’s description of Trump as ‘’a very outstanding man, unquestionably talented’’, the candidate for president called Putin a ‘’highly respected’’ global leader.
“You would like me to call him a weak leader. He’s a strong leader. I’m not going to be politically correct. He’s very popular within Russia. Now, that may change. He came out with a very nice statement about me and I said that’s very nice, I’m honoured by it,” he said.
Trump told supporters at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, “It is always a great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”
The Republican frontrunner later said of the Russian president, “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”
In his interview with CBS on Sunday, Bush slammed Trump for praising Putin.
“You don’t brag about what a great guy he is. He’s not. He kills journalists. Anybody that opposes him ultimately is pushed away,” he said.
In the last few months Bush’s popularity has dipped where as that of Trump’s continues to soar.
At a rally in New Hampshire, Bush said Trump is a “jerk”.
“(Trump has) come out saying that Putin is a strong man and a great guy, when he’s trying to destabilise our relationship with our allies. He’s not a serious candidate,” Bush argued.
Appearing on the NBC News, Trump claimed that Bush would soon be out of the race.
“Jeb is a weak and ineffective person. He’s also a low-energy person, which I’ve said before, but he’s a weak and ineffective person. If he were president, it would just be more of the same. He’s got money from all of the lobbyists and all of the special interests that run him like a puppet,” Trump alleged.
“He’s got two per cent in the polls. I have 41 per cent in the latest poll. He’s going to be off the stage soon.He’s an embarrassment to the Bush family,” Trump said.
Trump continues to sustain his lead over other GOP contenders with an average of 33 percent support among Republican primary voters. But Bush, the son and brother of two former presidents, is still struggling to gain momentum in presidential campaign.
Written by Yoana Manoilova for South Front