“He is a bright and talented person without any doubt.” The words of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who lavishly praised Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Trump returned the favor the very next day when asked about Putin’s comments. “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country,” ignoring assertions from a TV host that Putin “kills journalists, political allies and invades countries.”
The love from Trump isn’t new. Previously, he said he thought he’d get along with Putin, who now has chilly relations with the United States after Russia’s annexation of Crimea and his highly suspect record on human rights. Diplomats were left gasping or opining righteously on cable news outlets that Trump’s comments prove what a danger a President Trump would be. Others found the humor in the odd love affair. One blogger called it “Trumpevich.”
Why Putin Praised Trump
Christian Whiton – CNN
Not only do the two men share a love for spectacle and an appreciation of its ability to move low-information voters, but Putin also sees Trump’s self-reference as something Moscow can exploit….
Recent American presidents have been easy prey for Putin. George W. Bush, who thought he got a “sense of Putin’s soul,” mistook the Russian strongman for a friend. Barack Obama believed that a change in diplomatic tone would alter Putin’s calculation of his nation’s interests. Putin of course encouraged both vanities. The invaded people of Georgia and Ukraine can attest to who sized up whom better.
The cherry on the cake would be a President Trump.
Trump Confesses Admiration for Strongman Who Offs Journalists, Fans Applaud.
Charles C.W. Cooke – National Review
It is typically asserted that Trump’s rise is the product of the Republican party’s rank unpopularity among its traditional electoral base. “Of course the voters are rebelling,” the argument goes. “For years now, the GOP has overpromised and under-delivered … And then along comes this guy, and provides an outlet. What did you think was going to happen?”Evidently, there is something to this critique. But it is not the catch-all excuse that some believe it to be, and nor does it justify the extent to which many Americans are happy to indulge the man. … And it most definitely cannot explain why, as I write, thousand of his fans are running around justifying Trump’s admission that he admires Vladimir Putin.
And make no mistake: Just a few hours ago, Trump confessed exactly that. He was not caught in a “gotcha.” He was not misquoted. He was not led down the garden path by the “liberal” or “mainstream” or “pro-Obama” media. Rather, he said, as plain as day, that he has “always felt fine about Putin”; he called him “strong” and a “powerful leader”; and he suggested that he should be respected for his “popularity within his country.” Nothing could prise him from this reverence. When it was pointed out to him that Putin is a man who “kills journalists, political opponents, and invades countries,” Trump said flatly, “At least he’s a leader,” which I can only imagine sounds an awful lot better in the original German. Then, for good measure, he took aim at the American system: “Unlike,” he added, “what we have in this country.”
McCain: Trump and Putin ‘A Match Made in Heaven’
Mark Hensch – The Hill
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) mocked GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday for receiving praise from Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“That’s a match made in heaven,” McCain said on Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria.” “Absolutely, I can hardly wait.” …
“The pandering to Vladimir Putin is unlike anything I’ve ever seen in any president,” he said of President Obama.
Who Wants Donald Trump in the White House? Evidently, Putin Does
Roy Greenslade – The Guardian
For an insight into its view – which means, of course, the view of its president, Vladimir Putin – I turned to Russia Beyond The Headlines, the supplement published by the Daily Telegraph on Wednesday. Under the headline, ‘Why Donald is Moscow’s trump card in US primaries’, ‘international analyst’, Bryan MacDonald wrote:
‘If the Kremlin could vote in the US presidential primaries, it would probably back Donald Trump… The surprise package of the race was a kind of comedy candidate. Nobody’s laughing now….
‘Trump believes ‘Putin has eaten Obama’s lunch’ on Ukraine. ‘Putin has no respect for our president whatsoever’… He [Trump] told a press conference in Scotland: ‘I’d get along very well with Putin.’’
Call Him Trumpevich: Vladimir Putin’s Presidential Pick
Andrew Rosenthal – The New York Times
I have an image of Mr. Putin watching a giant-screen TV in the Kremlin, wiping away tears of laughter as he listens to all the Republicans assuring America that they will dominate the Kremlin’s master tactician. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey wants to create a no-fly zone over Syria and shoot down Russian planes….
But Mr. Trump is more serene. “I will get along – I think – with Putin, and I will get along with others, and we will have a much more stable – stable world,” said Mr. Trump, who rarely seems stable. “I would talk to him. I would get along with him.”