May 8, 2016
George Osborne Hints He's Backing Hillary Clinton For President

George Osborne has signaled his support for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton's presidential bid in November.

Speaking on ITV's Peston on Sunday, Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer broke his neutrality by quipping that he was anticipating America's next president to be a woman.

"We look forward to working with the next President, whoever she may be," he said.

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Osborne's comments directly echo the subtle show of support America's current president has shown Clinton in recent weeks.

Despite pausing to mock her social media efforts at last month's White House Correspondent's Dinner, Barack Obama also turned heads by insinuating he expected Clinton to emerge victorious in the fiercely contested 2016 presidential race.

"Next year this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot and it's anyone's guess who she will be," he said.

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Although a vast majority of pundits had ultimately expected Obama to publicly support Clinton, George Osborne's unorthodox intervention has arguably broken his reputation for keeping himself out of American elections.

That said, Osborne has already launched a flurry of criticisms in the direction of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

In December, Osborne told the House of Commons that Trump was talking "nonsense" about London and argued his views were "not welcome" in Britain.

"Frankly, Donald Trump's comments fly in the face of the founding principles of the United States and it's one of the reasons why those founding principles have proved such an inspiration to so many people over the last couple of hundred years," he said. "I think the best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust democratic debate and make it clear his views are not welcome."

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Osborne's boss, David Cameron, previously aired similar views.

Last year, the Prime Minister blasted Trump for suggesting the United States should temporarily ban followers of Islam from entering the country. Cameron called the proposal "divisive, stupid and wrong."

Cameron has since diplomatically softened his views on Trump, having told reporters last week the presumptive GOP nominee "deserves our respect" for having emerged from the nomination process victorious. Yet the Prime Minister refused to apologize for having previously criticized Trump and reaffirmed his belief that Trump's views on Islam are "stupid."

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"What I said about Muslims, I wouldn't change that view. I'm very clear that the policy idea that was put forward was wrong," Cameron said. "It is wrong, and it will remain wrong."

It appears a large number of British voters agree with Cameron.

In January, politicians were obliged to hold an official parliamentary debate over whether Trump should be barred from entering Britain after receiving a petition signed by almost 600,000 people that accused Trump of "hate speech."

Although lawmakers appeared to sympathize with the views aired in that petition, they ultimately rejected calls to ban Trump from the country.

George Osborne's subtle words of encouragement appear to be Clinton's first formal presidential endorsement by a senior U.K. Government figure.

Hillary Clinton speech
George Osborne is the first major U.K. politician to back Clinton's 2016 presidential bid. [Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]Clinton still faces some stiff competition in her battle to be named the Democratic Party's official candidate. Yet following yet another victory in Guam on Saturday, Clinton is now well ahead of rival Bernie Sanders in the delegate count.

Including so-called superdelegates, Clinton has earned a total of 2,224. That places her well within striking distance of securing the 2,382 delegates needed in order to clinch the nomination at her party's convention in July. At present, rival Sanders is sitting at 1,454 delegates.

That being said, Sanders is expected to come away with a win on Tuesday in West Virginia's Democratic primary. Pollsters at RealClearPolitics are currently placing the long-time independent around six points ahead of Clinton.

[Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images]