Australia's Howard `Trembles' at Prospect of Trump Presidency

John Howard.

John Howard.

Photographer: Andrew Sheargold/Bloomberg
  • Former prime minister says he understands Trump's popularity
  • Success of billionaire shows public frustration, Howard says

Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, honored in the U.S. for his backing of efforts to tackle global terrorism, says he believes billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump is too unstable to hold office.

“My natural inclination would be to see a Republican in the White House, but I tremble at the thought of Trump being president,” Howard told Sky News television in an interview Sunday. “There’s an instability about him that bothers me.”

Howard, who won four elections and served in office from 1996 to 2007 to become Australia’s second-longest serving prime minister, said that despite his reservations over Trump’s sometimes “brusque” demeanor, the contender’s popularity was understandable.

“He’s doing well because he’s saying things that a lot of people think should be said, that the current political class aren’t willing to say,” said Howard, awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2009. “In part, his success is emblematic of people’s frustration with political correctness.”

Florida Senator Marco Rubio would be better placed to challenge Hillary Clinton in an national election, should the two candidates win their respective party nominations, Howard said.

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