January 2nd, 2008
02:35 PM ET
10 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. Doug in Rocanville

    With all the negative campaigning coming out, after all the candidates have gone on record stating how much they hate it, can we then assume that if any of them are elected, they will continue this two faced approach? UGH! Try to imagine....an honest politician, fighting for the middle class, putting their own ambitions aside, ahhhhhhhhhhhh only at Disney World!

    January 3, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  2. Glen

    I am a Canadian that has always taken deep interest in USA politics.
    I love it when I hear people running for office talk about the un protected border between Canada and the USA, the question for me is as Canadians should we be the ones concerned about the border.
    I find it interesting that when Canada said no to Iraq because we all knew that the problem was not their, we became the bad guys to the American Politician. I wonder how many everyday Americans wish that maybe Bush would have listened to us, instead of saying that Britian was now the USA best friend.
    Afganistan, different story-Canada has its troops fighting combat missions with the USA and others and this is an action warrented. I do notice that everytime a Canadian dies in that mission, your news agency CNN says a coalition force member died(really it should say a Canadian Soldier) we are after all the ones fighting in the most dangerious region. I would expect our news to report that an American Soldier has passed, not a coalition force.
    I pride myself knowing that the majority of Canadians know the differance between Iran and Iraq, know what elections are happening in countries around the world and the fact that starting in grade 3 you begin to learn this information about the world.
    I find it disheartening when I hear the people running for your highest office make blunders about other countries, considering everyone around the world hears about it.
    I also find it disheartening that you have over 310 000 000 people in your country and it takes less than .ooo5 percent of them to give the second best country in the world a black eye.
    Canada takes a lot of crap from American Big Business and Lobby Groups, Canada takes a lot of crap from the Politicians when something goes wrong in the USA and they start saying it is Canadas fault. Every time proven wrong, however the American people are never told.
    Canadas fault is that we do not stand in the lime light and say look at all this good we did, however I also believe that that is what makes us Canada.

    I hope your elections go well, I know you will all vote for who you feel best represents your interest.

    Signed a Proud Canadian, Proud to border the USA.

    On another note: I believe that tolerance and understanding is key to a good foriegn policy. As Canadians we prided ourselves with it, I only fear now that our reputation for it has been tarnished a little.

    January 3, 2008 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  3. Gracey Knowles, Dallas

    With this gaffe Hillary has blown her chances of being Barack's VP. He needs someone who knows what they are talking about. Maybe a Obama/Biden ticket?

    January 3, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  4. csja

    To all Iowan's standing for Joe Biden tomorrow night, thank you. And, please know that there are many of us who are standing with you all around the country (& the world). You can be proud to be caucusing for the greatest candidate both parties have to offer. Again, thank you

    January 3, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  5. csja

    Actually, since it is already 1/3/08 on the east coast I will say: To all Iowan's standing for Joe Biden tonight, thank you. And, please know that there are many of us who are standing with you all around the country (& the world). You can be proud to be standing for the greatest candidate both parties have to offer. Again, thank you

    January 3, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  6. Kevin, San Francisco, CA

    CNN's silence on this issue, despite the fact that this is the busiest blog post on CNN's Political Ticker, is deafening. The amount of support I am seeing here for Biden and negative sentiment toward Hillary is really shocking and pleasantly surprising.

    I, for one, would love to see Biden make it past Iowa. He lends tremendous value to the Democratic discussion and it would be a serious waste of his talent.

    Shame on CNN and MSNBC for leaving Biden, Dodd, and Richardson in the cold.


    January 3, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  7. Nate

    Hillary used to sit on the board of Wal-mart. How could she count that as experience? Her true experience is starting to show now. The NY Times is right Hillary isn't all that experienced went it counts. I have yet to see anyone name something that qualifies Hillary for the job. She voted for the war in Iraq and won't call that a mistake. Takes millions in lobbyist money. Has a MANDATORY health care plan. I don't see how anyone could even consider her with so many better options running. As an Iowan caucus goer I sincerely question her understanding of what experience really is. I'll be standing for the only leader who talks about working with Republicans to end the gridlock. The only leader who can garner Republican and Independent votes which we all know is a must to win the general election. The only leader that was right about Iraq. And the only leader who is free of both lobbyist and special interest groups, Obama '08.

    January 3, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  8. John

    Good to see all the positive talk about the best candidate!!!! BIDEN 08!!

    January 3, 2008 02:54 am at 2:54 am |
  9. S. HILL, UK

    The sad thing is Biden won't get nominated – but may get Sec of State. The Sec. of State will therefore be more knowledgable than the President and VP put together!

    January 3, 2008 05:22 am at 5:22 am |


    January 3, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  11. Bill W

    "Do we need another Clinton Administrationā€¦..hmmm lets see I dont think America can handle no debt and a surplus of money and high employment rates and oh yeah a stable economy, and lets not forget the way Clinton blatantly had good relations and standings in almost every country around the world. America cant handle responsibility to its country like that. We need to make sure that we bring Change, yeah thats it Change. HAHAHA."

    Hey Joe – Clinton only got those things because we had a strong Republican named RONALD REGAN in office for 8 years before Clinton. All of that stuff you mentioned was RONALD REGAN's work that Bill Clinton inherited. Clinton did none of it himself. In fact, he worked hard to give alot of it away through things like, oh NAFTA, H-1, and L-1. Give credit where its due, and credit is not due Bill Clinton for any of that, it was all handed to him because of the work of RONALD REGAN.

    January 3, 2008 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  12. Liz

    Joseph Biden is great on iraq and deserves to be in any cabinet.
    But yes, I don't think Hill meant Musharraf was literally up for election.
    Thanks Joe for encouraging popular ignorance in a last ditch attempt
    to gain traction in Iowa. I'm surprised at you!

    January 3, 2008 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  13. TN.


    January 3, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  14. Ed Hampton, Va.

    Think of this. Hillary Clinton wins democratic nomination for president. She has chosen Nancy Pelosi as her running mate, and states that they will change the country. Now think of this. Terrorists have overrun the US because Clinton did not heed warnings from the CIA & FBI. She blames this on past President Bush for not letting her know what she was getting into as president. China is now getting ready to move in and take over the US economy because the time is right.
    What a scenario? It's possible that this could happen if this ignorant woman is nominated. She would bring this country down quicker than you could bat an eye. With all the donations she has received from China, they would want paybacks, and just like her husband, she would give it to them. He gave them the missle technology; what would she give him? Something to think about. They would probably stay in the Lincoln bedroom for a week or two while figuring out what to give them.
    Newsmax is selling Hillary cards. If you want to find out a lot about her, buy them. Or, you could read a couple of truthful books about the Clinton's. (Unrestricted Access by Gary Aldrich or Target by Kathleen Willey) Excellent reads. Or you might want to read Unlimited Warfare by two Chines Colonels, and what Clinton did that was traitorous. No, we don't need her in office. The people in New York need to pull her out of the Senate. She is not to be trusted. Her and Bill has planned this for a long time, and the good people of the US needs to make sure she does not win the presidency. I hope CNN will print this.

    January 3, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  15. Robert Bell

    Have you noticed that political ticker items about other candidates generate maybe 50-100 postings, but anything that even tangentially mentions Hillary generates 500 or more?

    And most of them negative.

    There are a lot of people out there who hate Hillary. You can say this is right or wrong or whatever, but these are folks who are not going to change their mind, and feel very strongly so they are quite likely to vote.

    Accoridng to polls about 50% of the country falls into the "Hillary Hater" category ("who would you NEVER vote for President of the United States?")

    So we are not talking about some fringe "Rush is Right" minority of people here. We are talking Republicans, Democrats, Independents, you name it. The folks who dislike Hillary cross party lines. Hillary can unite America – in the hatred of her!

    (And who says we don't have bi-partisanship in this country?)

    If Hillay wins the nomination, she will have to get every single non-Hillary hater to vote for her, in order to win. That means no fence-sitters or people who feel neutral about her but prefer another candidate. She has to get ALL THE VOTES of the non-Hillary haters in order to win.

    Or, get Bllomberg to run to split the Hillary-hater vote. Frankly, I think this latter scenario is how it is going to play out, and Bloomberg is a willing participant in this farce.


    January 3, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Jimmy Frank Carter

    It is not big deal for hillary to think Musharaf is running for parliamentary election.Many of Americans do not know much about international issues and are not interested.The thing is Media are partial they always potray good side of hillary but not the other side.Hillary is naive and to think she will be a president is absurd.This is a woman who stick to his husband not because of love(since Bill has hot pants)she sticks to him for the sake of becoming president.She is desperate and she will say anything to be elected.Am fed up when he blames everything on bush,has she forgotten about the messy his husband caused in this country?

    January 3, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Alex

    Being a conservative, I am very disappointed with ALL candidates both Republicans and Democrats. And I am not alone. Just read "The American Conservative" magazine ( http://www.amconmag.com/ ).
    Current Republican and Democrats are "GOOD COP/ BAD COP" situation for America. I agree with Al Bundy, who said: "Whoever you choose – you choose the wrong one!". šŸ˜‰

    January 3, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Robert

    Joe Biden is the most qualified person to lead this country.

    Of course he isn't a superstar candidate who...
    -Was a former first lady to the the first two-term Democratic president since FDR.
    -A youthful, fresh, extremely charismatic junior senator
    -Former vice presidential nominee

    And he doesn't have...
    -Millions upon millions of dollars raised
    -Oprah's support
    -A former president backing them
    -And most of all, intense coverage by the media, and adequate talking time during debates.

    This election would be a hell of a lot different if the media wasn't doing this for ratings. Because let's face it, a woman and a black man running for president is more interesting than some capable, straight-talking, white senator from the tiny state of Delaware. - I mean, that doesn't make good television, people.

    January 3, 2008 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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