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    Former President Bill Clinton speaks while campaigning for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Friday, May 13, 2016, at Passaic County Community College in Paterson, N.J.

    Poles Fume Over Bill Clinton's Remarks About Poland's 'Putin-Like Leaders'

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    Polish social media has exploded in outrage and indignation over former President Bill Clinton's remarks about their country's 'Putin-like' leadership.

    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.

    "Just give me an authoritarian dictatorship and keep the foreigners out. Sound familiar?" the former president added, referring to Poland and Hungary, and to the kind of rhetoric currently being used against Republican frontrunner Donald Trump to accuse him of undemocratic tendencies. 

    "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."

    One user angrily wrote that "with the Clintons talking such nonsense, it's unlikely that they're going to win the election." Others posted links to an old New York Times story accusing the Clinton Foundation of taking money from Russian atomic agency Rosatom.

    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.

    "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'.

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    Tags:
    anger, public reaction, comments, social media, insensitive comments, speech, Republican Party (United States), Democratic Party (United States), Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Hungary, Poland, United States, Russia
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