Here’s Who World Leaders Want As The Next US President

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The upcoming U.S. presidential election is picking up more and more attention around the world as the candidates get fewer and November gets closer.

International leaders usually stay away from endorsements until after the nominees from each party have been selected. Most prominent figures, such as British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have dodged questions on it for that reason.

But here are some of the endorsements the individual candidates have gotten from international leaders and political figures.

Businessman Donald Trump — Republican candidate

The only international leader speaking out in favor of Trump is perhaps the most influential of them all, Russian President Vladimir Putin. He called Trump “the absolute leader” in the presidential race at his annual Q&A with media in December.

“He’s a very lively man, talented without doubt,” Putin said about Trump. “He’s saying he wants to go to another level of relations — closer, deeper relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome that.”

Trump is overwhelmingly the most popular candidate among the surging nationalist parties in Europe. Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the National Front in France, tweeted his praise for Trump’s policies and said he would vote for him if he was American.

Geert Wilders, who has promised to deport every jihadi from the Netherlands if elected prime minister of the country in 2017, is also a strong Trump supporter.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — Democratic candidate

Solely based on the number of endorsements for each candidate, Clinton is by far the most popular candidate internationally. Matteo Renzi, prime minister of Italy, and Manuel Valls, prime minister of France, are the most prominent leaders to express their support so far.

“As Italian prime minister, it’s obvious that I would work well with whoever is president of the United States,” Renzi said in February. “As an Italian citizen and leader of the Democratic Party, and in total respect for American democracy, I’m rooting for Hillary Clinton.”

Clinton is popular among former leaders who ruled during her time either as first lady or secretary of state. Tony Blair (former British Prime Minister), Nicolas Sarkozy (former French President) and Carl Bildt (former Swedish Prime Minister) are all supporting Clinton.

Silvio Berlusconi, who served three separate terms as Italian Prime Minister, is a more surprising supporter of Clinton’s. Berlusconi openly opposes “mothers” in leadership roles, but seems to make an exception for Clinton.

“She is the most prepared of them all,” Berlusconi told newspaper La Repubblica in an October interview. “If Trump asked me for advice, I would tell him to get a haircut first.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders — Democratic candidate

Sanders is popular among socialists, communists and environmentalists around the world, including his brother, Larry Sanders, who serves as spokesman for a regional chapter of the Green Party in the United Kingdom.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called Sanders “an emerging candidate with a renovating and revolutionary message” in a March speech. And Yanis Varoufakis, former finance minister of Greece during the Euro crisis, said he relates to Bernie Sanders in the way they both managed to draw people to the left. (RELATED: Venezuelan President Praises Sanders)

“They just had enough of phoney politics and decided to back someone who has been saying the same common sense stuff for decades,” Varoufakis said after Sanders’ primary victory in New Hampshire, in an interview with the Huffington Post.

Republicans Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich have no notable endorsements form international political figures. 

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