It was inevitable some Donald Trump supporter would try to rationalize Trump’s view of Vladimir Putin. People just didn’t think that person would be Hugh Hewitt.
The popular conservative radio host got thoroughly clobbered on Twitter Friday morning after he made the argument that Putin is a more effective leader than President Obama because he has “served his country’s national interest better.” Counterarguments came from the left, right and center, and they’re still coming six-plus hours later.
Hewitt — like Trump and Mike Pence, his running mate — is not backing down. His Twitter argument came a day after Pence defended Trump’s statement that Putin is a stronger leader than Obama.
“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,” Pence told CNN Thursday.
If you want to see how much prominent political thinkers and journalists disagree with this point of view, check out their responses to Hewitt below.
It started with this early-morning tweet from Hewitt, followed by a question from political columnist Ron Fournier:
Here is the first tweet to prompt a backlash:
The Glover Park Group’s Adam Blickstein was one of the first to jump in:
Former Jeb Bush spokesman Tim Miller:
The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf:
CNBC Chief Washington Correspondent John Harwood:
Republican foreign policy intellectual Max Boot:
New York Times reporters Alex Burns and Jason Horowitz:
Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Husain Haqqani:
Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau:
The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis:
RealClearFuture Editor Robert Tracinski:
And finally, back to Fournier: