January 2nd, 2008
02:35 PM ET
9 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. Al in Wpg

    With so many posts I see on these sites where people don't know the difference between Iran and Iraq, I highly doubt this will make a difference in the votes. It only shows that Americans will vote for whoever can be as naive as they are. Keep bombing Iraq, that'll teach them for 911.

    January 2, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  2. AJ, IL

    Get her Biden! According to Bill Clinton, Hillary is a "world-class" genius and Hillary doesn't understand that the upcoming Pakistani election is about parliament and not the presidency. I could see one slip but a continued slip up is strong signal of inadequate knowledge.

    I wonder if Hillary's campaign will negatively respond to Biden's assessment of Hillary's so-called foreign relations experience so close to the Iowa caucauses. Biden's comments are pretty damaging to Hillary's credibility on international issues.

    OBAMA in '08!

    January 2, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  3. Vincent, Tamaqua, Pa


    Hillary 08!

    January 2, 2008 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Dwight Reagan

    Well , good for Senator Biden (and surprise- – he usually is wrong about everything). It is for certain that Wolf Blitzer of CNN is not going to question anything any of the Clintons will say – after all it is the Clinton News Network!

    January 2, 2008 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  5. Seunjohnson

    I wonder why the media has refused to comment on this gaffe,When it was Mike Huckebee it was in the news and every TV in the country.I am thinking maybe CNN take side when it comes to scrutiny of candidates.I have always respected CNN and felt they were very fair as compare to media bias from FOX news.I will bide my time and see as more events unfold

    January 2, 2008 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  6. Tony Loyd

    Obviously with the intensity of campaigning, Senator Clinton did not keep up with the facts on the ground. This brings up the question – should sitting Senators or Representatives be required to resign their seats in order to run? It's a good question and one that should be discussed.

    January 2, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Is this the foreign affairs "experience" Hillary keeps yapping about?

    January 2, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. al, San Francisco, CA

    There goes Biden's chance to be Hillary's running mate.

    January 2, 2008 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. J. McKinney SW MO

    Good Grief! God himself probably couldn't keep all the details straight from all these dangerous little countries that are full of all kinds of unrest. But Hillary has as good a grasp on the general situation of them all as anyone. And I am quite sure that if she were president, she would be gathering input on the situation before acting, from all sorts of advisors and experts on that particular area. Let's not "go nuts" over this. She wouldn't "go off half-cocked". So it happened this time to be something Biden knew and Hillary wasn't aware of. We all know Biden, even tho he has good foreign policy credentials, doesn't have a snowballs chance in H***, so let's not mess up Hillary's run for the presidency. We need her, and she will be more capable of handling "everything" better than any of the others. I am sure, with the mess we are in, that no one would be capable of knowing it all, all by themselves. And PLEASE, don't any of you Obama nuts start in about how all knowing, all seeing he is. He has not been anything but words so far, in his limited service.

    January 2, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  10. Les

    Why not cite the gaffe Huckabee made Joe instead of throwing your fellow democrat under the bus? Every 4 years you run for nomination, you always lose. Nope, you'll lose again this time Joe. You have the habit of putting your foot in your mouth.

    January 2, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. John Q Public

    Is anyone surprised at this?

    Hillary makes herself out to be an expert in foreign relations. She even exploited the assassination of Benazir Bhutto by touting her acquaintance as if the two of them where long-time collaborators. Now the truth is shown that she is not just naive, but utterly ignorant.

    How many more lying liberals will all of you believe?

    January 2, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  12. Schratboy

    Biden is a dolt. Nobody cares what he says or does...except the media. As for Hillary, the media loves her because she's so controversial and unelectable.

    January 2, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Tim, Powder Spring, GA

    Doh!!!! So much for her "Foreign Policy" experience.

    January 2, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  14. john L Cerrato, Rockville Centre, NY

    Musharaf is on the ballot, perhaps not in a literal sense but in a power struggle re: the parlimentary elections. He can gain a lot of power, or lose power depending upon how the opposition party does in the lection. Joe Biden is desperate and constantly boasts of his superior knowledge of foreign affairs. Hillary will soon comment and make her point, i'm sure.

    January 2, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. Les

    In addition the gaffe Hillary had made is not a big deal. We have a presidential system, while Pakistan has Parliamentary system. I thought Musharraf is running for re-election too.

    Thank you for citing it Joe, you've just educated me.

    January 2, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. Tim, Cincinnati, OH

    What? She can't be wrong! She has eight years of experience as "co-President."

    Is anybody still buying that line of nonsense?

    Time to turn the page–Obama 2008!

    January 2, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. Richard

    And we really haven't heard much of this in the mainstream media. If it was any other canidate, they'd be all over them immediately to the point of killing their, Hillary says it and nothing happens–brilliant.

    January 2, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Jim in Orlando, FL

    "I have 35 years experience ......... " .

    Yeah, OK. I've been alive that long too, and then some.

    January 2, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. columbus, ohio

    Why is anyone surprised? Clinton is unfit to be president.

    January 2, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. Chris, NYC

    Good for him.

    Hillary knows absolutely nothing, beyond talking points, about foreign affairs.

    She flunked the bar exam in DC, and it shows.

    January 2, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Lynda West Chester, PA

    Why aren't more peole catching on the Joe Biden is by far the most experienced and qualified candidate out there? No one has more foreign affairs experience. He has been warning us about Pakistan for months. He is what our country needs right now to restore our reputation and credibility in the world. It is pathetic that the front runner, Clinton, doesn't know what the upcoming elections in Pakistan are for. If she was referring to Musharraf's party, then she should have said as much. I don't believe that for a minute. That is just the best spin here campaign could put on her big gaffe to cover up her lack of foreign affairs experience. It's a little scary that Clinton claims to have the most experience out of the top tier candidates.

    Biden/Edwards 08!

    January 2, 2008 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Harry Gooper

    Please, Please Iowa help keep another Hill/Billy out of the White House.

    January 2, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. Fred, Washington, dc

    He is right.......I think his idea of going into Pakistan if Musharraf does not act if we have actionable intelligence on Al Qaeda's whereabouts squares nicely with Obama's views.

    Also, I think it would be politically convenient if he told his supporters to have Obama as a second choice only for Iowa caucuses, because if Hillary wins Iowa the nomination is over, however if Obama wins Iowa things are still up in the air because he does not have 25-30 pt leads in other critical states down the road like Hillary does.

    I am not a campaign operative, nor a supporter of any of the democratic frontrunners, however I believe due to their foreign policy positions and the effects of a Clinton victory in Iowa (thus reinforcing her inevitability argument) Biden should tell his supporters to caucus for Obama if he does not get the needed 15% to move on to the next round.

    January 2, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  24. Bill, Chicago, IL

    THIS is why we need a smart person with foreign relations experience as our President- not some insider whose experience is limited to having tea with other First Ladies.

    January 2, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  25. Matt, Columbus OH

    Biden has proven over and over again that he is the only one (I'll give you Dodd, too) that really understands what's going on outside this country. And poll after poll has shown Americans care more about kissing babies, praying to invisible people in the sky, and 'a guy/gal you can drink a beer with.'

    Americans will get the candidate we deserve. Shame on us.

    January 2, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20