January 2nd, 2008
02:35 PM ET
2 years ago

Biden highlights Clinton Pakistan gaffe

Biden got tough on Clinton over her recent comments on Pakistan.

Biden got tough on Clinton over her recent comments on Pakistan.

(CNN) - Democrat Joe Biden suggested Tuesday that presidential rival Hillary Clinton doesn't adequately understand recent events in Pakistan.

The Delaware senator was responding to news that Clinton suggested in two recent interviews that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is up for reelection this month.

Musharraf was actually reelected in October, and the upcoming Pakistani elections are parliamentary, not presidential.

"We have a number of candidates who are well-intentioned but don't understand Pakistan," Biden said at a campaign event Tuesday. "One of the leading candidates - God love her."

"There are good people running," continued the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who has made his foreign policy credentials a centerpiece of his long shot presidential bid. "But to say Musharraf is up for election! Musharraf was elected - fairly or unfairly - president six months ago. It's about a parliamentary election!"

Clinton's comments came in an interview with ABC Sunday, in which she said, "[Musharraf] could be the only person on the ballot. I don't think that's a real election."

The New York senator also made similar comments during an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer last week, saying then, ""If President Musharraf wishes to stand for election, then he should abide by the same rules that every other candidate will have to follow."

Both gaffes were first noted by conservative Thomas Houlahan, writing for the Middle East Times.

The Clinton campaign has not yet returned a request for comment on Biden's comments, but said yesterday the New York Democrat was referring to Musharraf's party, not himself in particular.

Republican Mike Huckabee took heat last week for also getting key facts about Pakistan wrong in the aftermath of Benazir Bhutto's death. He first suggested the country remained under martial law (it was lifted a few weeks ago) and later said that Pakistan shares its eastern border with Afghanistan (it shares its western border.)

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Joe Biden
soundoff (493 Responses)
  1. r k martin, New York, NY

    Guess she forgot to ask the "first husband" what to say

    what a puppet this scoundrel is...

    January 2, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  2. Ash, NY,NY

    Exactly! Why is the media letting the "experienced" candidate off the hook. She doesn't really have experience. Joe Biden does. BIDEN 2008!

    January 2, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. Chase

    I figured Clinton's team could'nt get the script to her in time.

    January 2, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Oh, but she has so much foreign policy experience.

    Once again people, you have been lied to by the Hillary machine.

    January 2, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. zacaryquack

    Just what we need, another clueless leader unwilling to admit mistakes..

    January 2, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  6. Joe, SoCal

    CNN being what they are, I am actually surprised they ran this story– making Clinton look bad just a day before the caucuses. It is, after all, Clinon News Network.

    January 2, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  7. Amir Askari

    Pakistan shares its Nothern border with Afghanistan

    January 2, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. Nando, Florida

    But she is Ready to Lead from Day one. Thanks Sen Biden for calling the cookie baker out.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 2, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. E. C., Houston, Texas

    IF Democrats were SMART..........Biden and Dodd would be the two Leading Contenders for the Democratic Nomination. These men are the Most Experienced, Knowledgeable and Respected men in the race to The White House. Further, IF Democrats were SMART, they would realize that NO ON THE JOB TRAINING would be necessary. QUITE OBVIOUSLY, Hillary doesn't know what is going on in the Global Power Arena. Obama knows Less, and Edwards apparently doesn't concern himself. IF Democrats want one of these unqualified contenders in our White House, then Democrats can expect to lose once again to a Republican Presidential Nominee............HURRAY FOR THE GOP!

    January 2, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  10. Tamika Jackson

    Hillary Clinton likes to boast that she has a lot of foreign policy experience but her experience was having tea with the first lady of the country her husband, the President, was visiting, while her husband was meeting with the leader of that country. Hillary Clinton never sat in on meetings her husband had with foreign leaders, nor did she ever meet with officials from the State Department, nor was she ever involved in making policy about our relations with other countries. Her lie about having substantial foreign policy experience is just one of the many lies she hopes will fool the voters. Hopefully, the voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina are not that stupid that they will believe Hillary's lies.

    January 2, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. greg,new york

    OOPS.

    January 2, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  12. betsy

    This is a scarey situation!!! In no way am I saying I know the politics of Pakistan, but to have those who want to lead our country not know is really a bit frightful! As important as Pakistan is to the US, and as important as the candidates are making it, you would at least think they would have some basic facts about the politics and up-coming elections. How sad! Biden knows foreign politics. I feel with the state of our foreign relations, Biden is the only one who truly understands our situation and knows how to address the leaders. Our standing in the global society is sorely lacking, we need someone in there who knows the history and dynamics so that the same mistakes are not made over and over again.

    January 2, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  13. Raman, Plano TX

    Pakistan is not a country that has soverignity over its own political systems.

    At any given time either US or UK or Saudi Arabia, or Dubai dictates how Pakistan leadership conducts political affairs in Pakistan.

    So even though Joe may consider Sen. Clinton's comments as gaffe, our dear President Pervez Musharraf may well take her comments as commandment, that he has to abide by.

    Today President Prevez Musharraf is asking Scotland Yard to investigate Butto's death, just so that everybody is convinced that he is not behind the assasination as predicted by the deceased. The implication is FBI or CIA or NIB cannot be relied upon at this moment by Pakistan leadership as these agencies have been closely linked to President Bush's gaffe in Iraq invasion.

    January 2, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. Anonymous

    Clinton's comments came in an interview with ABC Sunday, in which she said, "[Musharraf] could be the only person on the ballot. I don't think that's a real election."

    She mentioned him TWICE BY NAME , no party mentioned, BY NAME, she was VERY particular TWICE.

    When her campaign advisors fed her these lines, it is obvious that they don't understand how Pakistan works either.

    Foreign policy while sipping teas and having cookies is not real foreign policy.

    Time to wake up Clintonista's and explain away for Hillarity, come on, the rest of us are awake.

    January 2, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  15. Jonny

    When you falsely fabricate resume' that you don't have; definitely, your lies will cut-off with you. Hillary does not have any sense of foreign policy–she depends on ethnic sentiment of the gang of neocons in Washington who thinks this country belongs to them. She is vitally fraud, and the civil society will strongly reject the pandering and strangulating strategy of CNN and their cohorts this time. This is America's moment–not the media and corporate mafias' moment.

    January 2, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  16. Tom Dedham, Mass

    Clinton's comments came in an interview with ABC Sunday, in which she said, "Musharraf could be the only person on the ballot. I don't think that's a real election."

    She mentioned him TWICE BY NAME , no party mentioned, BY NAME, she was VERY particular TWICE in two seperate interviews.

    When her campaign advisors fed her these lines, it is obvious that they don't understand how Pakistan works either.

    Foreign policy while sipping teas and having cookies is not real foreign policy.

    Time to wake up Clintonista's and explain away for Hillarity, come on, the rest of us are awake.

    January 2, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. meltho

    This, of course, begs the question: Does Hillary Clinton really have the foreign policy experience she has been touting?

    Here's a site that elaborates on this story and includes a video of one of her slips:
    http://wizbangblog.com/content/2008/01/01/waityou-mean-hillary-isnt-the-smartest-woman-in-the-world.php

    January 2, 2008 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. RD

    Biden is one of the most qualified canidates we have on the democratic party. I wish him well. Hillary is by far the worst. Her and Bill are just power hungry. Its time to send them back to Arkansas, or New York or who ever will take them. I have not decided who I am supporting as a canidate But Biden, and Richardson are the two most qualified canidate's we democrats have. And Edwards would make a great president. He may not be as qualified as Biden and Richardson but he could have beat Bush if Kerry had not been the presidential canidate on the ticket. Hillary and Obama will be a sure loss to the Republicans in 2008. They are the most controversial canidate amongst our own party. They cannot unite our own party enough to win. To many democrat's love or hate Hillary & Obama to the point they will not vote if the other wins. Republicans as a whole support the top 5 canidates of their party and will unite to support who ever the republican nominee is. Democrats do not have that. A vote for Hillary or obama is a loss to the republicans. Edwards stands the best chance of winning then he could pull Biden or Richardson as a Vice Pres. be a sure win for democrat's in 08.

    January 2, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. bill

    Theres no real problem with the fact that most of these candidates dont know what they are talking about when it comes to Pakistan. That just emphasizes the fact that the next American president needs to get make sure America gets out of Iraq ASAP, and leave the rest of the world alone.

    Why mess with the world when you dont know anything about it?

    No WMD's
    No knowledge on Pakistan
    No real "intelligence" on anything that can be relied on

    Its a clear message that the candidates are givining on their own, they just need to stop and listen to what is coming out of their own mouths because they dont seem to be doing that.

    January 2, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. E. C., Houston, Texas

    Hey, Mooney........Why didn't you LEAD with a Harsh Criticism of your girl, Sillary? IF this had been such a gaff by any other contender, you would have jumped on it and aimed for the jugular. You are SO LIBERAL BIASED!
    By the way..........collectively, Democrats just don't cut it intellectually; if they did, the Democrats would be backing the Best Man, who is Biden, for the Nomination. Instead, the Democrats only clamour for a member of the "Political Road Show"......a Three-Ring Circus for the 3-Star Clowns of the Media! Readers are on to YOU, Mooney!
    .

    January 2, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  21. Rus, Whitburn

    It’s already been a long hard campaign, and people make mistakes, but the problem for HRC is that she puts herself forward as the experienced candidate with foreign relations prowess – ‘ready on day one’. Pakistan should be focussing the minds of those who may lead our country in the near future, and she seems to have a basic misunderstanding of the situation there, stated not once, but twice.

    January 2, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  22. David, Boca Raton

    What makes this worse is that she has been consistently confusing this basic point. This isn't the simple slip-up that could happen to anyone on any given issue, this is consistently providing wrong accounts on the same one. Add this to the list of reasons why Clinton is better suited to carpet bag any other political position.

    January 2, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Dave L

    So, Huckabee gets excoriated for his "ignorant" comments on Pakistan, which is fair enough, but remember that he has never pretended to be a foreign affairs specialist. Hillary reveals a depth of ignorance that is equally abysmal if not more so in the circumstances - and she is making foreign affairs expertise a centrepiece of her argument about why she is "ready to lead from day 1"

    Can I now assume that CNN will be calling B.S. on Hillary's so-called qualifications, at least as much as you piled on Huckabee?

    I'm not holding my breath waiting for it!

    January 2, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Gee does it make Biden any more electable to say HE knows more than anybody else about Pakistan. Well we would like for things to be stable there, but I would like to know what a person is going to do to help THIS COUNTRY....And Hillary Clinton seems to be able to do that pretty well.

    If Biden and the other candidates want to govern Pakistan, didn't he say they want to elect people soon, go for it.

    January 2, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Not fooled

    Yea, right....Clinton was referring to Musharraf's party just like her husband didn't think a BJ was sex. When your wrong, you should be man enough to admit it....er I really meant woman enough.

    January 2, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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