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. Sogir Hossain, Dhaka, Bangladesh

    We saw the assassination of Benizir Bhutto but not see the assassination of democracy in Pakistan as well as the other countries. A leader of a third world country has died, but democracy must live in the whole world. Free and fair elections must also be held as soon as possible in the Pakistan. If it will happen then we can say that the death of Benizir Bhutto is not the death of democracy in the world.

    December 27, 2007 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Ca Native

    "Bhutto's death has absolutely nothing to do with the U.S. war on terror"

    David, Gilbert~AZ, I actually think there is a distinct similarity in the assassignation of Bhutto and those which seek to kill Americans and other Westerners.

    The killers (of Bhutto) and terrorists both seek to silence dissenting voices.

    They both look to terrorize everyone else not killed by their actions.

    Their view of government is defined by their extremist religious views. Any threat to this view is eliminated.

    They care less for the sanctity of life than the pursuit of their cause. Innocent men, women, children are slaughtered "for the cause".

    While those killing Ms Bhutto may not wear the uniform of Al Qaeda, they share intolerance and willingness to kill for their cause. I'd call them terrorists.

    December 27, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. J. Daniel, Ohio

    This is so sad to see die like this. This day in Pakistan will never goten in term of democracy. This day is second to a day that Martin L. King Jr. was assesonated.

    December 27, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. Bill, Albuquerque, NM

    Please Musaraff behind assisination.
    He wants to remain president forever

    December 27, 2007 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Melissa, Maryland

    She was a brave woman, she knew what she was up against, and she went back anyway.

    This was a political assination, and had nothing to do with 911 or terrorists, how quickly people resort to "terror" to explain things.

    I think that Joe Biden gave the best statement. He is one of the best foreign policy experts we have. He has been saying that Pakistan is the real worry for a while now.

    December 27, 2007 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Monte Brown, New York, NY

    "Some say the world will end in fire;
    Some say in ice.
    From what I've tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To know that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice."

    Robert Frost

    December 27, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    I cannot believe she has been assassinated. This is so terrible...a big slap in the face of democracy. I hope there is a FULL SCALE investigation into her death. I'm not going to rush to any conclusions, BUT –If Musharraf was found to be involved in any way, the US should cut off ALL ties to this country. State sponsored terrorism is just as bad as your run of the mill terrorism.

    December 27, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Rick Hermon Maine

    I knew, even before I read it, that Guliani would spin it to a FEAR FEAR FEAR campaign opportunity. He is a 9-11 OPPORTUNIST who only wants to continue MORE OF THE SAME. Scare the crap out of the US Citizen and say "I am the only one who can protect you", that is ALL he has.

    December 27, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  9. CelinaB, Norcross, GA

    J of California

    Why think in bits and cut out the most important issue Obama brought out?

    And that's the critical issue, that the government has to act. And the government has to act to protect Pakistan's own serenity and integrity, its own respect, and to understand that if it creates a vacuum, then others aren't going to just twiddle their thumbs while militants freely move across the border.

    The reason we are fighting the wrong war is because current leaders dont focus on the bigger picture. Fighting terrorists means going after them wherever they are, not looking for weapons of mass distraction and then pursuing a war that shifts attention completely from epicenters of terrorism

    December 27, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Ben, Nashville, TN

    I'm curious to see where Barack Obama said "I want to bomb Pakistan and Iran". I have closely followed his presidential campaign, and while I've heard him speak out about the fact that what happens with a child in Pakistan impacts us here in the U.S., I've never heard him say that he wants to bomb Pakistan or Iran. I've heard him say that he would consider using targeted airstrikes in Pakistan to route out Al Qaeda operatives there IF PAKISTAN DOES NOT ACT. I've heard him say that he'll put strict limits on military funding for Pakistan. But I've never heard him say that he'll bomb Pakistan. Please tell me more about this.

    December 27, 2007 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    Today's events in Pakistan remind us just how big of an issue national security is to our country.

    This issue has unfortunately taken on less importance in recent months and it should now return to the forefront of our discussion.

    Without a secure country, the quality of our healthcare system, education system and financial markets mean very little.

    December 27, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. I feel sorry for you people.... you deserve what you get

    @ Independent in NH

    Why use an article about Bhutto's death to post vitriolic, negative slurs against ANY candidate?

    You either don't care or are missing the point entirerly.

    The article is about this brave woman's tragic and senseless death. Not to get your candidate elected.

    Posted By S Williams, Tampa : December 27, 2007 10:58 am

    -------

    What candidate is Independent in NH promoting? Why is everyone so overly defensive?? A poster can regret the death of a brave and courageous woman while pointing out that not all candidates are as they appear...

    YET - HAVE YOU EVEN READ THE COMMENTS WHICH WERE LEFT ON THE WOMAN WHO IS DYING ARTICLE:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/12/24/dying-voter-confronts-white-house-hopefuls-about-health-care/#comments

    OR EVEN WORSE ON THE UNDECIDED VOTER IN NH WHOSE BROTHER WAS KILLED IN IRAQ:

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2007/12/21/for-one-nh-voter-its-between-mccain-and-obama/#comments

    Where was the OUTRAGE when those vicious "slurs" :( were posted???

    EVERYONE needs to stop blaming everyone else for the mess that America is in today and figure out how to work TOGETHER to make it better!! Doesn't seem like the GOP or the Democrats are willing to do that. What about the Ron Paul supporters? I'm losing faith in America...

    December 27, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Jon, Pittsburgh, PA

    To John in New York – do you really think that Hillary just shook hands and had tea with Bhutto? Please don't be ridiculous. Disagree with her policies, fine. But, please – anyone that has ever listened to Hillary speak about any issue whatsoever, realizes that she doesn't just shake hands and have tea with people.

    December 27, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  14. Darth Vadik, Diamond Bar CA

    I'm sure all of the republican presidential candidates will look to bring to justice people who did this, as soon as they find them in Iraq.

    And to all the knuckleheads who think we need war, war and more war to fight the extremists, here is a clue...

    ...all the people who have changed this world for BETTER have been peaceful people

    Gandhi, Martin L. King, Malcolm X (during the last years of his life), John Lennon, etc etc etc

    ...all the people who have changed the world for the WORST have been war loving liars and schemers....

    Hitler, Stalin, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, etc etc etc

    Now let’s all say it together, especially you conservatives (couch commandos)...

    Peace is good and war is bad...

    No, no, it’s not going thru to you conservatives.

    Too bad, like all warmongers, their reigns have been brief, and your time just about ran out, now, conservatives step away please and let the sane people drive the bus.

    December 27, 2007 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    She embraced the Taliban & was removed from office twice on corruption charges….it's saddening that she died, but she is no hero.

    Posted By Justin, Havelock North Carolina : December 27, 2007 11:12 am

    Kind of how Dick Cheney and the Bush administration embraced the Taliban when there was talk of building an oil pipeline to the Caspian Sea?

    December 27, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Rigso, Somerville, MA

    People are accusing HIllary of using her statement politically, are YOU KIDDING ME MORONS? hers was sincere, look at the repugs already trying to draw up images of a scary world to bring fear about, Hillary did no such thing, you guys are blinded by your love for either the Messiah Obama or the dumb rethugs. And altough this is a great tragedy, there is obviously an element of politics/foreign policy crises to this...

    December 27, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. J. Dean, Juno Beach, FLORIDA

    There will be more assasinations and killing in the Near East and the Middle East due to the failed leadership policies OF Disaster George Bush at home in the U.S. and in the World.
    The current government and the military junta of pakistan received over 10 Billion U.S. Dollars from us, to become more corrupt. There will be no Democracy and no political freedom in Pakistan. The corrupt Parvez Mushaffar and his military tugs are looting all the money, why should they let Bhutto, Sharif or other to take power and introduce the so called "Democracy advocated by the U.S. and the western powers. Current days Pakistan in worse than Saddam Hussein's Iraq before the war. The major difference betweet then Iraq and current Pakistan is the Nuclear power that Pakistan possesses at the present time. Plus, of course, our free Dollars that has and is corrupting the military bosses surrounded around Parvez Musharraf. What happened to the so called "NOBLE CAUSE" of Disaster George Bush when he send our young boys to die in Afghanistan and Iraq. What happened to the Billions of U.S. Dollars wasted and are being wasted in the name of Democracy and Freedom ?
    For almost five yaers WE, THE MIGHTIEST AMERICA HAVE NOT ACCOMPLISHED ANY TANGIBLE RESULTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE NEAR EAST. How could Disaster George Bush and Dick Cheney sleep at night when our boys are being killed and our money wasted in the name of FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.
    President Karsai and President Musharraf are modern days mercenaries kept alive with our hard earned U.S. TAX PAYERS Dollars. So much waste, so much corruption will have no effect whatsoever because our PRESIDENT FAILED IN HIS NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL POLICIES.
    We just would like to see the day when Disaster George Bush will have the courage to stand up and say to US, THE AMEIRCAN PEOPLE AND TO THE WORLD, "I HAVE FAILED AND I ABUSED ALL THE TRUST INVESTED IN ME"
    AMEN.
    A Republican from Florida.

    December 27, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Dave from Huntsville

    I am also with Dave from Gilbert (11:14am CST posting). There seems to be a great rush to blame this on a nebulous "terrorist", and that may well prove be the Case, but politics in Pakistan is a rough business and the ISI (as mentioned before, like our CIA but under even less control) has been known to play hardball...

    So I will invoke a 48-hour rule for myself–see what other evidence turns up in the next 48 hours before I rush off and start pointing fingers.

    we shall see.

    December 27, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  19. Eric, boulder, CO

    um HELLO! She supported the Taliban in Afghanistan!

    December 27, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  20. Clark Lowery Fair Lawn NJ

    Actually, Senator Obama did say in 2004 that U.S. strikes against Pakistan might be necessary to prevent extremists from gaining control over a nuclear weapon. Perhaps this cowardly assassination will finally cause our leaders to realize we are already dealing with an extremist in Pakistan. Continued support of the existing Pakistani government should not be tolerated by the American people – let us hope that at least one of our current presidential candidates steps up and speaks out against President Musharraf.

    December 27, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. Greg Jones, Cleveland, Ohio

    Obama Was Right....Hillary Wrong Re: PAKISTAN

    With todays terrible announcement of Benazir Bhutto's assasination in Pakistan, one can't help but be reminded of a recent Democratic debate in which Hillary Clinton literally laughed at Barack Obama's statement that the United States should concentrate on the unrest in Pakistan even if it meant sending U.S. troops to the Afgan/Pakistan border where the Taliban, al-queda and other terrorists are camped. Hillary did her pompous, smirky laugh stating that Obama wants to 'talk to our enemies (Iran) and attack our allies' (Pakistan border). But as events unfold in the region we are learning more and more of just how disasterously wrong she and our foreign policy have been. We are supporting a crazy dictator (Musharaf) who we have given millions of dollars to....who has point blank told us that he will not go to the Pakistan border to address the true terrorists because they 'made a deal'. It doesn't matter that crazy Mu has weapons of mass destruction and is probably hiding Bin Laden in the border region. And to Hillary.....this is all just fine. Is this the great 'experience' that she boasts having ? Now, as we watch the turmoil increase in the Pakistan region Hillary will surely state that we need her 'experience' to handle the situation when in fact, it is this very mindset or experience that is leading America and the entire world toward catastrophe. Face it Hillary.....You are wrong...Obama was right. Oh.....and need I mention that the recent findings show that our 'enemy' hasn't had a weapons program for years ? But Hillary voted to basically crush Iran........wrong again Hill. And to top things off....you'll probably stay supportive of Crazy Mu ! With 'experience' like yours.....who needs enemies ?

    Greg 'Peace Song' Jones

    December 27, 2007 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  22. Kevin, SF, CA

    Those of you who are using this to support your candidate are just bad people. Let the world recover from the shock and let the world mourn. Wait until it's more appropriate to talk about the political impact.

    I won't bother saying what candidate I support here. I'm just disgusted with so many comments here.

    December 27, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. jack,phoenix,az

    Who in this world believed she would not be killed? After the first attempt, they surely would continue, till they got her. We have ALWAYS backed Dictators, so how is this different. We talk democracy but it is not so.

    December 27, 2007 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Sam Florence MA

    Why did CNN feel the need to highlight Giuliani's stupid comment? Yes, Rudy, we know you're great at standing at a podium and showing false bravado. That doesn't mean you're going to be President.

    December 27, 2007 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    As usual you partisan idiots are using this blog to take pot shots at candidates or the other party other than your own, friggin' sheep.

    If you are going to ignore the sacrifice and real bravery that this woman showed and just bicker as it were any other blog, that is too bad.

    This is not a good thing for our country and you supposed geniuses would rather act like children.

    All of the candidates are going to put their spin on it as if the didn't respond, they would get hammered.

    Would this then be a good blog for me to ask, "when they catch some of these people, should they torture or waterboard them to get information on the ENTIRE group or to FIND out if other ATTACKS are planned"?

    That would be wholly inappropriate.

    RIP to a truly honorable woman.

    December 27, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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