US losing influence around the world, Russia gaining: Jeb Bush

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
US Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush: "We’re losing influence around the world and Putin is gaining influence.”

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.

“Putin is organized 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,” Bush said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” program on Sunday.

“He’s not an ally. He’s a dictator. He’s a bully,” declared the former Florida governor, adding that the Russian president admires strength and the United States should demonstrate strength to counter him in the global arena.

“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, Trump called Putin a “highly respected” global leader after the Russian president described him as "a very outstanding man, unquestionably talented.”

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.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Leading Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

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.

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.

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