HOW WILL THIS PLAY WITH POLISH-AMERICAN AND HUNGARIAN-AMERICAN VOTERS? ‘Putin-like?’ Not us, say Poland and Hungary in response to Bill Clinton.
Poland and Hungary returned fire Tuesday after former U.S. President Bill Clinton accused the two countries of thinking that “democracy is too much trouble” and wanting “Putin-like leadership.”
“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 is too much trouble,” Clinton said Friday during a campaign stop in New Jersey on behalf of his wife, Hillary, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. “They want Putin-like leadership: Just give me an authoritarian dictatorship and keep the foreigners out.”
Clinton was making a broader point about the danger posed by populists like Donald Trump, the likely Republican candidate, and used Poland and Hungary as handy examples of an international trend. Both countries are also among the most vociferous opponents of taking in refuges from the Middle East.
That prompted a sharp reaction from Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of ruling Law and Justice party and Poland’s most powerful politician, who told reporters Tuesday afternoon: “If someone feels that there is no democracy in Poland, they should be medically examined.”
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