DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told CNN Sunday he is not surprised by the current instability in Pakistan, and said that if he were president he would be working to ensure elections took place there in the coming weeks.
The “way out for [Pervez] Musharraf and in turn for us and Pakistan is this guarantee, making it known now that the election will go off within sixty days and there will be a fair arbiter of whether or not it was conducted fairly,” Biden told CNN's Candy Crowley in a wide-ranging interview aboard the CNN Election Express as it ambled through Iowa.
Biden spoke to former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto while campaigning in Iowa Sunday and told voters he was trying to connect with President Musharraf to talk about the political crisis in Pakistan.
The Delaware senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee agreed with the Bush administration’s decision to review U.S. aid to Pakistan and told Crowley he thinks the war in Iraq has contributed to Musharraf’s present situation.
“If you’re Musharraf and you see the last two years, our entire attention being diverted to Iraq, us not being in a position where we look like we’re in it to stay in Afghanistan, then you start cutting your own deals. I think that’s what he’s done,” Biden said.
On Iran, he expressed frustration with his fellow presidential candidates for not “connecting the dots” between the Kyl-Lieberman resolution, which calls for labeling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, and a jump in oil prices.
“The idea that we don’t understand, that we don’t think of these things in terms of how connected they are. My job as president is to increase the security of the United States of America, it is not to discreetly decide who each of the bad guys are and take them out if I know in doing that the consequence is we are less safe, less secure,” he said.
- CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson