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. Ryan, New Jersey

    Dang, where'd she put all that Foreign policy experience she has!? I guess she left that in Bill's other pants...

    January 2, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  2. Suma John

    This no suprise that most american leaders are dommies, drug users and so on
    E.g George walker Bush.

    January 2, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. Ian

    Funny thing is Obama knows even less about international politics and events. It will be a scary 4 years with either canidate if elected.

    January 2, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  4. ishaq

    How come the person who was interviewing Clinton did not correct her? Does not it show news media are also not aware of Pakistani election?

    January 2, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. John

    Joe, it's spelled RETIRE!

    January 2, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. Kraig Rasool

    There you have it...... Hilary Clinton with all respect should return to her lovely home wherever she resides and become Mrs Hilary Clinton to her husband
    Bill. Its a very sad and dangerous thing to speak about foreign policies and make
    numerous mistakes especially during these turbulent times.....Im sure that in the future if we pay attention to her speeches and many interviews we will surely be
    shocked at what she knows and doesnt know.... Experience is the best teacher in
    all facets of life so being a wife to her husband would be the best position for her.

    January 2, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Leslie

    And apparently they think the rest of us are gullible...

    Mooney – "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."

    HRC – "[Musharraf] could be the only person on the ballot. I don't think that's a real election." & "If President Musharraf wishes to stand for election, then he should abide by the same rules that every other candidate will have to follow."

    Does "person" & "every other candidate" (which is singular by nature) sound like a whole party to anyone else??? The writers for these guys must be on strike too!

    January 2, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. LuckyDay

    Hillary/Bill made a mistake? On foreign affairs? Can it be true? On the Clinton News Network? And Wolf didn't hammer her for it? Go figure. Here is the most "experienced" candidate, who we are supposed to be in awe of for her prowess in foreign affairs not even aware that her knowledge on this crucial point is lacking. The horror. The horror!!

    January 2, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. Jason

    Ian: The thing about Obama, though, is that he knows he's not that experienced with international politics and he'd surround himself with people who are (I would be shocked if he didn't pick Biden to be his running mate), whereas Hillary's posturing and statements make me believe she'll pick someone as inexperienced as she is because she thinks she's got the know how.

    January 2, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. Ben, Chicago

    wow, that's scary. here I am a lowly customer service rep and I knew more about the Pakistani election than Hillary. you just lost my vote lady.

    January 2, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. April Vargas, Montara, California

    Obama was right about the situation in Pakistan months ago and was initially criticized for stating what now is accepted as reality - the current government in Pakistan is unwilling or/and unable to act effectively against terrorists within their country. Bhutto would have asked the US for help but that is no longer a possibility.
    GObama 08!!

    January 2, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. Aaron

    Looks like Hillary will be spending most of Day One getting On-the-Job Training. How can you argue you're experienced after something like this. What happens when you pick up the phone to talk with Musharraf and think he's up for re-election? Looks like her experience card has some holes in it.

    January 2, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  13. Steven Brinson Windsor, Ontario Canada

    What I find more interesting than what is percieved to be a gaffe is the fact that neither commentator caught or exposed what was said. Could this be because it was "understood" she was speaking of the party instead of the man? I'm sure either of the interviewers would have loved to have the spotlight on this story if there is a spotlight to be had. I think HRC is correct. Not that Mr. Biden is incorrect but this upcoming election is ALL about Musharraf'. The people of Pakistan right now seem to think so as well. How difficult it must be for writers to actually do some work in finding substantial information to report on instead of spin.

    January 2, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. Sunny

    Well, now it is up on Drudge. Chris Mattews will destroy HRC over this tonight.

    January 2, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. Kurt - I'm Caucusing for Joe

    Demonstrating once again that Sen. Biden is clearly the rational, experienced choice.

    People accuse him of "running for Secretary of State." Obviously he's not, he's running for President. But answer this: would you vote for someone for President who is NOT qualified to be Secretary of State?

    I mean, I'm just some joe schmoe out in Iowa somewhere, and I knew it was a parliamentary election in Pakistan. How did Sen. Clinton NOT know this? Being married to a president for eight years does not qualify you to be one.

    Iowa! New Hampshire! Wake up! Support the grown-up in the race. Vote for Joe Biden.

    January 2, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  16. Katy

    Biden for Secretary of State!

    January 2, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. nancy

    It is a real tragedy that we are not going to elect the "best man' as our next president...Joe Biden know more than all the other candidates(democrats 7 republicans combined...He is the most qualified and the most knowledgable
    candidate but...he has not had the publicity as the other runners so...people do not know him at well...This is a disgrace to our political system and the usa...Really a shame we will never get to see all the good Joe Biden could do for this country and it would be alot..I have followed Joe for several years and he is the only candidate who actually knows what he is talking about..and believe me..he knows what he is talking about...we will miss the chance to have a great president by by not electing Joe...
    All the way behind you Joe...but will not be enough to elect him..everyone should go to joebiden>com and see for yourself what his credentials are and that he really is the "best candidate"

    January 2, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. Ben, Columbia, SC

    Joe Biden's comments on John Edwards:

    "John Edwards passed 4 bills while he was in the US Senate. And they all had to do with the Post Office."

    In other words, according to Joe, Johnny did nothing in the sentence.

    January 2, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. I LuvHillary

    Thanks Joe for pointung out these comments. This is probably one of the most productive thing you have said in this entire election slug feast. It will not help youe cause because once the electrict gets past your political job they clearly see that you have never had any realworld experience in your career. From school to politics you missed the real world along the way. Keep shooting even if they are blanks.................................. I LuvHillary (Because she is from the party of" DaFeet" and will give me so much free stuff!!!!)

    January 2, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. BCNU purple state, usa

    Why doesn't Hillary every answer any of these questions? You always hear "statements" from the campaign. So much for her great intelligence! She hasn't a clue. Ready to lead on day one, please.

    The only things she's running on are her celebrity status and myriad giveaway programs that those unwilling to do for themselves embrace.

    Hopefully voters will be wise enough to see through this joke of a candidacy.

    January 2, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Cesc Fabregas

    I don't like any of 'em, but certainly this points out (yet again, ad nauseum) the bias of the big papers (NYT, LAT, WaPo, etc)–if this had been said by Bush, or an R candidate, they'd have it on page A1 in war-sized type (and really, as they should–this is a MAJOR gaffe). "Experienced" Hillary, nary a peep I'll bet.

    January 2, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. Franky Goes To Hollywood

    Most Americans don't even know where Pakistan is.

    January 2, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. Karen, Pasadena, CA

    One again it shows that Hillary was at the bottom of her class at Yale, she never even graduated with honors, let alone Magna Cum Laude like the other candidates.

    She did well at her all girls school, but when it came to Ivy league graduate school, she couldn't compete.

    NO MORE 'C' STUDENTS FROM YALE!!! Elect someone who was at the top of their class, not the person who married the guy at the top of the class.

    January 2, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Ghostbuster

    I'm Crushed ..... C.R.U.S.H.E.D. I tell you. The Smartest women in the world has let her mask slip off in public and we all just learned that she may be the Dumbest of the whole bunch.

    January 2, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  25. Ken, NYC

    Raman, yes, I saw the article on Scotland Yard being asked to help with the Bhutto investigation but don't think they will spill the beans that the ISI was behind it (and that the ISI is funded by the CIA and in turn both agencies created al-Queda).

    January 2, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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