December 28th, 2007
12:41 PM ET
15 years ago

Richardson: Cut off most aid to Pakistan

Richardson delivered a speech on Pakistan Friday.

Richardson delivered a speech on Pakistan Friday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Bill Richardson called Friday for an immediate cutoff of all military aid to Pakistan that does not go directly to the fight against terrorism.

"President Bush should immediately suspend non-terrorism related military aid to Pakistan until President [Pervez] Musharraf resigns," he told a Des Moines audience. "Not one penny more until Musharraf is gone and the rule of law is restored."

On Thursday, the New Mexico governor called for Musharraf to step down – a move that was immediately criticized by a Democratic presidential rival, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden.

Richardson said Friday the risks of Musharraf remaining in place were greater than those if he lost power, because the Pakistani president had not been able to root out terrorists taking refuge inside his nation’s borders. He also accused other Democratic presidential candidates of naivete for not sharing his view.

"Like the Bush administration, they cling to a misguided notion that Musharraf can be trusted as an ally to fight terrorism or to change his despotic ways. Despite their faith, Musharraf has thumbed his nose at America again and again. How many times does the Washington conventional wisdom need to be proven tragically wrong before Washington insiders give up on it?"

Richardson, who laid out his own foreign policy credentials Friday, took aim at some of his less-seasoned rivals, arguing that "We cannot afford another president who is a foreign policy novice. We cannot afford another president who takes the easiest path rather than the right path."

The New Mexico governor is running a distance fourth or fifth in most recent polls of Iowa Democrats, registering single digit support among likely caucus goers.

–CNN's Sasha Johnson and Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Bill Richardson • Iowa
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Barry

    How insightful, Bill – cut ourselves off from one of the most unstable governments in the world with a functioning nuclear arsenal.
    Perhaps we should pull our military from South Korea as well?

    December 28, 2007 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Lorenz, Queens, NY

    Cut off all aid - I agree. Ron Paul 2008

    December 28, 2007 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Derek

    All aid should be cut off Pakistan and every other foreign country in the world. We are borrowing money from China and Japan to offer aid to other countries while we have people here without jobs, health care, or homes and we are leaving the debt for our grand children's grand children to pick up for us. End all foreign aid until we are operating on a budget that will allow us to pay down the national debt.

    December 28, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. JJ, Cleveland, OH

    Richardson is not my choice for POTUS, but I couldn't agree more with suspending "aid" to Pakistan. Bhutto's blood is on Musharraf's hands regardless of specifically how she died. It is well documented that her security was insufficient, and he did nothing. He may as well have aimed the gun at her himself. Musharraf cannot be trusted, and while I fear very predictable chaos ahead, we cannot afford to waste anymore vital resources on a "leader" content to let jihad infiltrate the government and run wild in the streets. My heart goes out to the innocent in Pakistan. May God bless and keep them.

    December 28, 2007 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. CensoredByCNN, Roxboro, NC

    If one is to consider who benefits most from Bhutto's death, it comes up Musharraf.

    But, our trustworthy government is busy linking this affront to one or more of our favorite blame takers,, the big two terrorists,,Taliban and those other guys.

    Musharraf has been taking our money and military aid and ignoring American influence for quite some time now. Seems he's as trustworthy as our guys.

    I wonder how long it will be before our foreign policy backfires and we all pay the price for foolish politicians and their even more foolish policies.

    December 28, 2007 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Laurinda

    We really should cut out most of the aid to all of those mid eastern countries. We borrow money from China, yet we turn around and give it to everyone except our own country. Can you imagine what we could do to fix our country, bridges, sea walls. health care for everyone, low cost medicines, I mean anything and everything. Come on people wake up and take our country back from the politicans.

    December 28, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  7. Cody - Starkville, MS

    Why are we only hearing from Richardson? Formerly, no one covered Richardson, now there's 3 or 4 articles about him and he appeared live on CNN. Even according to polls, Kucinich is doing better than Richardson, but we never hear from him. The media only asks about non-political questions, like his diet, his wife's tongue ring, etc. Maybe the media is scared of the only Progressive?

    Kucinich CAN win. Polls don't mean anything– and if they do, Kucinich has several in his favors!

    If you want to see if Kucinich can win, visit

    December 28, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. James, Houston,TX.

    Bill Richardson, Your absolutely Correct, Screw Pakistan , we need those borrowed Funds from China to build fences around Mexico, Canada and Cuba, I mean Florida ! Talk about the Immigrants, Whew!

    December 28, 2007 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. MJ Seymour,CT

    Richardson is making a lot sense in regards to foreign aid to Pakistan. Now if we could only expand on that idea and eliminate foreign aid to the entire world we may be able to address our own issues here in the U.S.A. Ron Paul 2008!

    December 28, 2007 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  10. lyn

    Just because our government can and is bought does not mean we can buy other governments!
    They are using us as fools!

    December 28, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. lyn

    Musharraf could have been just as easily killed by the terrorist, ...but that would kill the "golden Goose, ...our billions!
    Which they all share!

    December 28, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |

    If we cut off aid to Pakistan and get rid of the present false goverment, who do we entrust the Nukes to? This question is for Richardson & Ron Paul.

    December 28, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I can't believe Richardson is advocating cutting off aid to Pakistan when Pakistan has been a friend to the U.S. for many years. Furthermore, how does he know that borrowed American dollars did not come from China for the purpose of aid to Pakistan. When Richardson has followed the money trail and he has solid facts, then I will agree with him, until then it would be an international disaster to cut off aid to Pakistan.

    December 28, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  14. Rob, Albuquerque,NM

    Bill is a sorry govenor in NM. He is now running for VP. Let's hope he gets the job and get him out of NM.

    December 29, 2007 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  15. Roger Aurora, Illinois

    Yes, they're a nuclear country. I think that's precisely the reason we can't be intimidated. they will NOT hold that fact over our heads. It's long past time to PROLIFERATE, something Richardson has been fighting for abroad for years. Does anyone really think Pakistan has the cojones to dangle war over everyone's head? the world wouldn't allow it. We can't let govenments like that dangle it in front of our faces mockingly. They can get smashed into oblivion if they want to play that game.

    December 29, 2007 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  16. tim

    To Rob from Albuquerque,
    Being a lousy governor never stopped Ronnie or George from running for Prez...Richardson does bring foreign policy and beltline credentials to the table, both resume-padders that Ronnie and George would have killed for. Wait a minute, they both did.

    December 29, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  17. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Ron Paul – Libertarian....listen to the whole message

    Richardson – a guy with a 1% share getting daily press coverage....Hillarys running mate?? losing combination

    December 29, 2007 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. Independent in IA

    My goodness.....there ARE a couple of chips in his bag of Frito's.

    December 29, 2007 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  19. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    Our government has no right to use our taxes to pay foreign powers aid, either in economic or military.

    No foreign aid – reduce our taxes and pay off our foreign debt.. Vote for Ron Paul

    December 29, 2007 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. Jay, NY

    I've never heard anything more shortsighted in my life. Sure, let's an extremist islamic movement take over pakistan and its nuclear arsenal. At least that way Iran will be the last of our worries...

    December 29, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  21. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    Jay, So the answer is to spend billions of our taxes to prop up any government that has nuclear weapons and attack any unstable nation who might develop WMD?

    How about we just stop messing in their internal matters and let them get on with killing each other. Chances are, left alone they probably would not bother us.. and if they did, we stop this tip toe democracy crap and just bomb the country back to the stone age.

    December 29, 2007 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. 1984

    Pentagon: 'They Hate Our Policies, Not Our Freedom'
    'Muslims do not hate our freedom, but rather they hate our policies [the report says]. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the long-standing, even increasing, support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan and the Gulf states. Thus, when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.'

    December 31, 2007 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  23. Emmy

    Bill Richardson: I will not militarize the borders

    Bill Richardson opposes militarizing the borders – says the first thing to go down, if he is made President, will be the border wall that the congress is building.

    January 2, 2008 05:29 am at 5:29 am |