Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Sunday took Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMost Americans break with Trump on Ukraine, but just 45 percent think he should be removed: poll Judge orders Democrats to give notice if they request Trump's NY tax returns Trump's doctor issues letter addressing 'speculation' about visit to Walter Reed MORE to task for praising Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinFormer US envoy Samantha Power: Trump finding 'new ways to compensate Putin for election interference' Overnight Defense: Ex-Ukraine ambassador offers dramatic day of testimony | Talks of 'crisis' at State Department | Trump tweets criticism of envoy during hearing | Dems warn against 'witness intimidation' | Trump defends his 'freedom of speech' Highly irregular: Rudy, the president, and a venture in Ukraine MORE as a strong leader.

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“Putin is organized to challenge the United States across the world now. He views his success by pushing us back. We’re losing influence around the world and Putin is gaining influence,” Bush said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“He’s not an ally. He’s a dictator. He’s a bully,” he added.

Bush said Putin admires strength and the best way for the United States to counter him is to demonstrate strength on the international stage.

“We need a president that actually will stand up for American interests whether it's in Europe or the Middle East. That's how you create a better relationship with Putin,” he said.

Trump recently said it was a “great honor” when Putin this week called him “bright and talented” and the “absolute leader of the presidential race.”

Trump later said of Putin, “He’s running his country and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”

Bush took strong exception to those remarks Sunday.

“You don’t brag about what a great guy he is. He’s not. He kills journalists. Anybody that opposes him ultimately is pushed away,” he said.