23:03 GMT21 February 2020
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    Republican hopefuls have adopted a tough stance on Russia and its leader, but neither they, nor Barack Obama are capable of countering Vladimir Putin, Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov wrote on Twitter.

    "The US is abuzz on who will be able to tackle Putin. Judging by mutual accusations Obama and the Republican candidates make, none is capable of this," the head of the State Duma's foreign affairs committee noted.

    GOP candidates often flay Obama for being too weak or impassive when it comes to dealing with Russia. On Monday, the US president went on the offensive by joking that the Republicans running for the White House are incapable of handling strong opponents.

    "Have you noticed that every one of these candidates says, 'Obama's weak. Putin's kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he's going to straighten out'?" Barack Obama asked.

    "And then it turns out they can't handle a bunch of CNBC moderators at the debate. Let me tell you, if you can't handle those guys, then I don't think that the Chinese and the Russians will be too worried about you," the US president observed at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York.


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    politics, 2016 Republican Primary, Republican Party (United States), Vladimir Putin, Alexei Pushkov, Barack Obama
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