December 27th, 2007
12:25 PM ET
3 years ago

Presidential candidates react to Bhutto

Getty Images photographer John Moore captured Benazir Bhutto waving, moments before he heard gunshots.
Getty Images photographer John Moore captured Benazir Bhutto waving, moments before he heard gunshots.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Many of the presidential candidates have reacted to the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Click here to read all the candidate reactions. (Continually updated)

Related: Bush condemns 'cowardly' attack on Bhutto

soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. Vierotchka

    What about statements from Kucinich and Gravel?

    December 27, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. Vierotchka

    This is not so much a terrorist attack as a political assassination dressed to look like a terrorist attack.

    December 27, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Mark, Pasadena, CA

    Why should we get involved? Let Pakistan sort out its own problems. I have no interest in my tax money being sent there and no interest in American troops being sent there. Let's just stay OUT!

    December 27, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  4. David Johnson

    Let us hope dictator Musharraf is next.

    December 27, 2007 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. Ross

    I simply shake my head reading all this "terrorist" phooey – like they are coming here next. Fact is – the Bush led US supports this tyrannical regime, has poured billions of dollars into pakistan, and she was executed not by terrorists (the ones so many nut job conservatives are so scared of) but by the government!

    December 27, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. R.Ward

    Dr. Ron Paul has the most presidential and the best reaction to the situation in Pakistan. He stated facts and expressed his deep knowledge of history that has shaped what is going on over there and the middle east. Great job RON PAUL!

    December 27, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  7. Gracey Knowle, Dallas

    Benazir Bhutto – a highly educated woman whose influence on government was riddled by corruption and infighting, trying to regain power. Soung familiar?

    December 27, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  8. caforjoe

    You can all talk about how the candidates reacted–but let's be honest, the only candidate even talking about Pakistan before any of this happened was Joe Biden. I want a POTUS who knows what s/he is doing, not a Monday-Morning QB.

    December 28, 2007 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  9. Jarad

    Someone asked where the Ron Paul supporters were...

    We are here, listening, and watching. Although, as many have said, this is not a time to promote your candidate.

    This is a devastating loss for Pakistan as well as another reason for the U.S. to invade the entire middle east.

    December 28, 2007 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  10. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    To be fair and include all the candidates, CNN, will you please update with Kucinich's statement? Thank you.

    http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/?q=node/29584

    Kucinich: Assassination of Benazir Bhutto Represents Dangerous Moment For The World
    Submitted by davidswanson on Thu, 2007-12-27 15:17. Congress

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 27, 2007) — U.S. Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) issued the following statement after learning of the death of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto was killed in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in a suicide attack following a campaign rally.

    “This is a very dangerous moment for the world,” Kucinich said.

    “Benazir Bhutto represented a courageous effort to bring principles of liberty to Pakistan. She was truly dedicated to the people of Pakistan.

    “The United States must change its policy direction in the region. It must stop adding fuel to the fire.”

    Kucinich met with Bhutto several times over the years in both Washington, D.C. and New York City.

    December 28, 2007 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  11. Michael

    In such light of this recent massacre we all must step back for a moment and prey that the light Bhutto sought to bring remains in place for millions in the region. She was a light for democracy and felt that it had to include everyone. Lets just step back and say a prey for this woman and her family during this grieving point.

    What the candidates said was suppose to be heartfelt, HIllary and John McCain both new Bhutto and there statements were true reflections on the heavy hearts they bear for this woman.

    We should not be placing any type of blame on who would handle this better who is not mature enough but look at each candidate as an individual, who has the right experience, who holds a place closest to your personal core value and vote for that person. Voting should be heralded as a great civic duty we take pride in. We may have our favorite candidate and we have reasons why, but in the end it comes down to a vote of the people and some-case people and a court but we have to move forward.

    If you don't take pride in your civic duty to vote then you have less right to chime in because you are not actively taking your place in democracy. Let us morn the loss of this great woman Bhutto. She was that light of hope and democracy in the region.

    December 28, 2007 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  12. Jim Guiteau

    So Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for Bhutto's death.

    Has anyone asked "cui bono"?

    Who benefits from Bhutto's death?

    Is it Musharaff?
    Yes. He will now face the upcoming "(s)election" unopposed. He will maintain his (allegedly) tenuous grip on power.

    Is it Al Qaeda?
    Yes. They can claim another feather for their cap in order to keep the region destabilized and insure that the (alleged) jihad continues.

    Politics makes strange bedfellows indeed.

    If we are to believe that our "ally" Musharaff stands to gain just as much from Bhutto's death as does our (and his) "enemy" Al Qaeda-then what does that say about the relationship between Al Qaeda and Musharaff?

    It has been well documented that Pakistani intelligence (ISI) has been routinely penetrated by Al Qaeda agents, even at the highest levels. For example, former ISI chief General Mahmoud Ahmad was found by the FBI to be the source of a $100,000 wire transfer to (alleged) 9/11 hijacker Mohammed Atta in the months prior to 9/11. (What this General was doing on Capitol Hill having breakfast with soon-to-be-confirmed CIA chief Porter Goss on the morning of 9/11 remains an unanswered question).

    What constitutes an "enemy" and what constitutes an "ally"?
    Perhaps we should ask Henry Kissinger, or Zbniew Brzezinski.

    With Musharaff remaining in power, it is a virtual lock that Pakistan will continue to remain the United States' staunch ally in the "War on Terror" and the seemingly endless war with Al Qaeda will continue as before.

    Once again, "cui bono"?

    December 28, 2007 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Jarod, Raleigh, NC, your comments make very little sense. The Pakistan People's Party is the largest political element in Pakistan. It is also the most popular according to Pakistani polling data. Musharraf's approval rating, on the other hand, ranks right up there with President Bush and the democrat Congress, meaning it isn't very good. With Bhutto gone the People's Party is left struggling. It also removes a very vocal opposition to Musharraf's government.

    How quickly people seem to forget that Musharraf suspended the Pakistani Constitution and fired the Chief Justice in order to remain in power. He also had his political opponents arrested. This is the same man who took control of Pakistan through a military coup in 1999 and the United States is pouring billions of dollars into his government. There are very few people who believe that Pakistan can hold a fair and open election now that Bhutto is gone.

    I have friends who live in Pakistan. When I mention the American view of Islamic jihadist terrorists doing this terrible deed they laugh and say it's very typical of us to blame everything on Al Qaeda and fanatic Islamists. There is not one of my Pakistani friends who does not believe Musharraf and/or his military was behind this assassination. If it makes people sleep better at night to blame Islamic fanatics for every bad thing that happens in the Middle East and West Asia then by all means please do so, even if it is completely untrue.

    Now I'm not exactly sure how stating facts equals hate but whatever floats your boat. If you ask me, however, that is a pretty big stretch of the imagination and a complete misrepresentation of the situation at hand.

    December 28, 2007 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Lourens

    I heard Gov. Richardson refer this morning to having urged action when Benazir Bhutto's father was assassinated. Her father was not assassinated but executed for allagedly arranging the murder of a political opponent.

    December 28, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. Jim Guiteau

    David from Gilbert, AZ-

    I would like you to further develop your line of thinking, as I think it bears much consideration.

    However--Al-Zawahiri has allegedly claimed Al Qaeda responsibility for the assassination. Now, Al Qaeda is (allegedly) a sworn enemy of Musharaff and his (allegedly) pro-American coalition status.

    It has long been known that Musharaff's government (particularly his intelligence arm, the ISI) has been infiltrated by either Al Qaeda agents, or those who would sympathize with them.

    In whose interests was it most beneficial to remove Bhutto?
    Musharaff's? Al Qaeda's? Both? Or.......ALL interested parties?

    December 28, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Kristy Sanborn, Buckhorn, Mo.

    Richard,
    I realize that even though Hillary didn't withdraw her vote of support for the Iraq war, this fall when Gen Petreaus was preparing his report on the progress in Iraq since the troop surge, that CNN quoted her more than once that our troops needed to be brought home.
    Clearly showing me a definate lack of conviction.
    Its like when the issue was raised if New York should issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. She did the same thing, tottering on the edge of both sides, never giving that 'straight' answer.
    I am also a supporter of Senator McCain, as I believe he is the ONLY one with the conviction, integrity, and courage to lead this country and stand up to not only the terrorists who wish to destroy it, but also to some politicians who didn't appear to want to listen to our Military Commanders over what was needed to complete their mission in Iraq.

    December 28, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
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