Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence is backing up Donald Trump’s argument that Russia’s Vladimir Putin is a more effective president than the current U.S. commander in chief.
Trump has come under fire for praising Putin and slamming President Obama. On Thursday, Pence told CNN: “I think it’s inarguable that Vladimir Putin has been a stronger leader in his country than Barack Obama has been in this country, and that’s going to change the day that Donald Trump becomes president.”
The Indiana governor denied that his running mate admires Russia’s dictatorship, which allows Putin to act unilaterally while Obama must deal with Congress. “Donald Trump said last night he doesn’t particularly like the (Russian) system,” Pence said, referring to the real-estate tycoon’s appearance on NBC News’ “commander-in-chief forum” Wednesday evening. Trump said during the event: “Certainly, in that system, (Putin) has been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader.”
Regarding Trump’s claim that “the generals have been reduced to rubble” during the Obama administration, Pence told CNN’s Dana Bash: “I think he was talking about the commander in chief reducing the influence of generals to rubble. … Our president had not taken all of the counsel of our military advisers in confronting and defeating ISIS.”
When asked whether Trump has told him about his “secret plan” to destroy the terrorist group, Pence answered: “I’ll keep our private conversations private.”