Hillary Clinton has come under fire after saying that America should 'empathize'' with its enemies.
Speaking at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. to promote female leadership, the former U.S. Secretary of State also said the country should show 'respect' to those fighting against it.
Using an approach she dubs 'smart power' - which women are apparently uniquely positioned to deploy - she urged Americans to use 'every possible tool and partner' to advance peace.
This approach means 'showing respect, even for one's enemies; trying to understand and, insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view,' she said.
The front-runner Democratic nominee's speech, specifically focusing on female leadership in foreign conflicts and relations, was held in the university's famed Gaston Hall on Wednesday.
Within minutes of the 67-year-old's appearance being broadcast, she was being criticized by social media users across America for her 'ridiculous' attitude toward the country's enemies.
Many people condemned her comments in the context of the U.S.'s recent airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS), which has taken over swathes of Iraq and Syria, Fox News reported.
Addressing Clinton directly, one Twitter user wrote: 'You have NO understanding of ISIS or ANY of America's enemies. Empathizing with killers only ensures your demise.'
Another user, named Sally LeMaster, told the politician: 'You know what, If you're so gung-ho to "empathize with America's enemies," go turn yourself over to them & see what happens.'
And Dr Sha Clark described her views simply as 'baloney'.
Away from social media, former Marine Lieutenant Colonel, Oliver North, now a Fox News host, described Clinton's comments as 'naive' and 'irrational'.
'I can’t think of a presidential candidate who would have said those kinds of things,' he said.
'If you’re going to run for president of the United States, you cannot talk that way about the people who intend to kill us. Who are dying to kill us... This is capitulation.'
Karl Rove, ex-George W. Bush adviser, added that Clinton's remarks were the 'wrong language'.
During the speech, Clinton also told listeners: 'Women are not just victims of conflict. They are agents of peace and agents of change.'
And she claimed 'smart power' would help to 'define problems' and 'determine solutions'.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Clinton's speech at Georgetown University was met with tepid enthusiasm from students, with just half of seats in the reception hall appearing to be filled.
Pictures and video discovered by the Daily Caller showed empty clusters throughout the 750-seat auditorium in which she spoke as part of the security conference.
This is at least the second time in recent weeks that Clinton has been unable to pack a room during an appearance as she decides whether she wants to carry her political party's torch in 2016.
In late October,the politician served as the headliner at a rally for Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, who was campaigning to become the Bay State's chief executive at the time.
After the event at the University of Maryland's College Park campus was over, Brown's staff claimed that more than a 1,000 supporters came out to see Clinton.
However, it was later evident that there were far fewer attendees, as most of the nose-bleed seats on one side of the gymnasium were empty, as were areas of the bleachers on the side.