Hillary Clinton’s favorite world leader is Angela Merkel


When asked to name her favorite world leader, Hillary Clinton laughed. While her opponents have recently struggled to give a straight answer, Clinton didn’t have to think for long.

She named German chancellor Angela Merkel.

“One of my favorites is Angela Merkel because I think she’s been an extraordinary, strong leader during difficult times in Europe, which has obvious implications for the rest of the world and, most particularly, our country,” Clinton told a group of reporters on board her campaign plane, according to Politico. “And I hope I’ll have the opportunity to work with her in the future, but we could talk about lots of different leaders if you want to sometime,” Clinton added, in an apparent swipe at Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson.

Johnson struggled to name a single world leader when asked the same question last week. In an interview that has since gone viral, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews asked Johnson to name his favorite foreign leader, but Matthews’s question was met with a blank response.

Johnson admitted to having another “Aleppo moment”—a reference to a previous blunder, where he replied “What is Aleppo?” when asked by an interviewer what he would do about the Syria’s civil war.

“You gotta do this,” Matthews told Johnson. “Anywhere. Any continent: Canada, Mexico, Europe, over there, Asia, South America, Africa. Name a foreign leader that you respect.” Johnson eventually named Vicente Fox, Mexico’s former president, while his running mate, Bill Weld, named Merkel.

Donald Trump—generally a huge Vladimir Putin fan—also named Merkel as his favorite world leader, though he went on to criticize the German chancellor for her refugee policy. “Well, I think Merkel is a really great world leader, but I was very disappointed [in] this move with the whole immigration thing,” Trump told NECN. “I think it’s a big problem.”

Trump’s surprise praise for Merkel comes only nine months after he took to Twitter to accuse Merkel of “ruining Germany.” Trump was angry to have lost Time’s Person of the Year to Merkel last year, criticizing the magazine as well.

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