There are very few things that U.S. presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump can both agree on during the 2016 election season, but when asked on Thursday who their most admired world leader was, both chose German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“an extraordinary, strong leader”
Clinton took a modest approach to the question, making sure she left her options open by saying that there are a lot of the world leaders that she likes, but did narrow it down by saying “one of my favorites is Angela Merkel”.
“I think she has been an extraordinary, strong leader during difficult times in Europe,” Clinton added to her statement.
While Clinton’s response wasn’t a huge surprise, Trump’s choice of Merkel was more unusual seeing that the German Chancellor has frequently been criticized by the candidate on the campaign trail, even using her as an insult when he called Clinton “America’s Angela Merkel”.
“she made a very tragic mistake”
“Well, I think (Angela) Merkel is a really great world leader, but I was very disappointed that — when she — this move with the whole thing on immigration,” Trump said in response to the question, adding that she is someone he would like to “admire, respect and would like to emulate”, but that is where the good words stopped.
Trump stated that while he “was always a Merkel person”, he believes “she made a very tragic mistake a year-and-a-half ago” with her stance on welcoming the Syrian refugees.
Their reasonings may differ, but we can all take comfort in knowing that the Merkel is one of the few that can bring our presidential candidates together during the 2016 election circus.