On Friday, while campaigning for his wife Hillary ahead of the New Jersey primary at the College of New Jersey, Clinton recalled the US's pivotal role in liberating Eastern Europe from Soviet-style communism, and blasted Poland and Hungary for their 'Putin-like' leaders.
"Poland and Hungary, two countries that would not be free but for the United States and the long Cold War, have now decided this democracy's too much trouble; they want Putin-like leadership," Clinton said.
"You've gotta have somebody who from the beginning knows how to keep big bad things from happening, and make good things happen," Clinton emphasized, speaking about his wife's foreign policy experience.
Clinton's remarks, making their way to Poland's news cycle a couple days later, have caused anger and confusion among Poles.
In the comments section to the story on Poland's TVN24 news network, Poles admonished the former president, with some commentators criticizing him for conflating the ruling Law and Justice Party with Poles, and others suggesting that Clinton is "detached from reality," "can't find Poland on a map," "knows nothing about Poland, and should deal with his own country's problems."
Another commentator shrewdly recalled the scandal within the Democratic Party over the convention in Nevada, where Clinton supporters were accused of robbing Bernie Sanders of delegates. The user asked whether this is the kind of democracy Mr. Clinton is talking about.
In the same vein, another user recalled that Clinton "lied under oath in court and now plays the role of moralizer. Does Hillary not remember that his economic recovery was based on large-scale loans, which ended badly for the United States?"
Naturally, Mr. Clinton's criticism also found its way to Twitter, with Poles blasting the former president's remarks about Poland.
Nadpobudliwy Bill pluje na Polskę:… https://t.co/sA1Al2zSLn— Jakub Szaper (@golempolski) 17 мая 2016 г.
"Excitable Bill spits on Poland."
"Clinton is terrified by the liquidation of the moneylenders' control over Poland."
#Clinton: 'Poland and Hungary would not be free were it not for the United States.' Correction: 'We wouldn't be enslaved'.