AB Rep: +289
|Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 3:04 am Post subject: Donald Trump's bromance with Vladimir Putin!
|If Donald Trump looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes, what would he see?
For nearly every other Republican politician -- from the party's past two presidential nominees to the current field of GOP hopefuls -- the answer is pretty clear.
"He's a bully," Jeb Bush said in June.
"Gangster and thug," intoned Marco Rubio in an October foreign policy speech.
And two cycles ago, it was the GOP's presidential nominee John McCain who famously stated that he had stared into Putin's eyes and "saw three letters: a K, a G and a B," a reference to Putin's past as an agent of the ruthless Soviet intelligence agency.
But Trump, the 2016 Republican presidential front-runner, is bucking his party yet again -- choosing to bear hug the Russian strongman rather than vilify him.
For months, Trump has embraced Putin as a world leader he would "get along very well with," a relationship that would be rooted in the two men's similar outlook, personas and, in some cases, overlapping policy goals. It's an international bromance that's driving GOP establishment figures to call out Trump's ideological incompatibility with the Republican Party in yet another arena.
After Putin praised Trump on Thursday as "bright and talented" and "the absolute leader of the presidential race," the billionaire trumpeted Putin's praise as a "great honor" and even shrugged off widespread allegations that the Russian president has ordered the killing of journalists and political dissidents.
"He's running his country and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country," Trump said Friday morning on MSNBC. "I think our country does plenty of killing also."