The head of Poland’s conservative ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, has joined a growing list of politicians demanding an apology from Bill Clinton after the former U.S. president suggested Poles and Hungarians are submitting to authoritarianism.
Speaking in New Jersey in support of wife Hillary’s U.S. presidential campaign, Mr. Clinton said, “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.”
“They want (Russian President Vladimir) Putin-like leadership. Just give me an authoritarian dictatorship and keep the foreigners out,” the former president added.
Mr. Kaczynski said Mr. Clinton’s words signal his need for a mental health evaluation, The Weekly Standard reported.
“If someone says there is no democracy in Poland today, that means he should have a medical test,” the former Polish prime minister told The Associated Press Tuesday.
“The media, different factors in the world, provoked a gigantic misunderstanding,” Mr. Kaczynski said, according to TASS news agency. “It is possible that this is influencing the ex-president. Otherwise, I cannot explain it.”
Beata Szydlo, Polish prime minister, also rebuked Mr. Clinton’s comments as “unjustified and simply unfair.”
“With all due respect, and without using coarse words (Clinton) exaggerated and should apologize to us,” she told Polish state radio on Wednesday, AP reported.
In Hungary, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said in a statement that “no one, not even Bill Clinton, can allow himself to offend the Hungarian people in this way.”