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. Joe

    If this were a bible class I would have referred to this portion:

    "O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you..."

    Is there really a soul on this planet, let alone in USA, that is willing to stick out their neck with the Clintons?
    Once a liar, always a liar and forever a liar!
    Don't expect anything less than whole and complete LIES from the flop queen.

    January 2, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  2. John Halverson

    I guess this is what you get with an "experienced" politician, someone who makes things up as she goes along not really knowing the facts, isn't she the one that didn't read intel reports before she voted for the Iraq war?. Ready to lead day one? not hardly.

    January 2, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. Les

    Bill, OHIO January 2, 2008 11:34 am ET

    All you Clinton Haters…why don't you grow up and start using your brains. Your petty nit-picking is the core of whats wrong with American poloitics. NOBODY is perfect and whoever YOU are voting for isn't either…and they WILL slip up occasionally as humans do. Hillary knows whats best for America and not maintaining an A+ grade in Pakistani History while fighting the battle of her life can be easily forgiven. When she messes upon AMERICAN history and events, then she should go home. In the meanwhile, she is by FAR still the best person for the job of President.


    They pick on Hillary for the simple reason Obama is the LEAST QUALIFIED among all democratic candidates running for nomination. Even Obama himself NEVER talk about his accomplishments, he has nothing to show. The p;atform of Barack Hussein Obama is identical with Bush when he was running for President in 2000. Like Bush, Obama is also an EMPTY SUIT. Obama is busy diverting the attention of the American people from his track record, if people can ONLY see how he cast his vote in the US Senate, they'd be surprise to find out, Obama is on the far right of Bush.

    Here's a URL for anyone to read how Hillary and Obama cast their vote:


    Hillary has my vote and other members of my family. We base our vote on ISSUES, EXPERIENCE and TRACK RECORD. They call Hillary polarizing, a great President was accused of the same thing (FDR) those that hated him called him a "commie." Hillary like FDR is a moderate, the best way to lead for ANY President regardless of political affiliation is to stay at the center to be an effective leader. Bush Jr., is an extreme rightwing, look what happen to our country.

    I don't want a far right or far left President, I want a moderate President, that's the only a President can govern effectively.

    January 2, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  4. Ryan Indianapolis

    Really Hillary......So this is the Experience you are talking about huh??????Anybody but Clinton in 08

    January 2, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  5. Desider

    Biden's wrong himself – Musharraf was in the presidential elections in October, not "6 months ago", and it wasn't until Musharraf fired the Supreme Court and appointed a new one in November that his illegal participation in the presidential election was approved.

    So much for smart alecks and gotcha politics.

    January 2, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. PS, KC, MO

    I am one of the undecided voters – highly unusual for me this late in the process. After studying the candidates, I had already made up my mind that Hillary was low on the totem pole. Not because she's a woman and not because she has high negatives (although the latter does concern me), but because I do not like her stands on the issues.
    I have narrowed the field down to 4 candidates – Edwards, Biden, Dodd and Kucinich. I like Kucinich's stand on the issues best, but I don't think he has a chance. He just isn't presidential. So that leaves the other three.
    Recent events in Pakistan highlight the need for foreign policy experience. When you make that a major consideration, 2 names come to the forefront – Biden and Richardson. Since Richardson doesn't match well with me on the issues, that means I'm taking a lot harder look at Biden. Add recent events in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Kenya, Russia, Korea and China and foreign policy is far more important than most people realize.
    The fact that Mrs. Clinton made this gaffe and Mr. Biden did not, is not something to be brushed away lightly. I just don't think she's as "experienced" as her campaign would have us believe. She is a second term senator and that's pretty much the sum of it.

    January 2, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Randolph

    The most vital aspects of this story are (a) Hillary's talent for lying to the people and (b) the mainstream media's minimization of her gaffe. Look, the libs' anti-Bush mantras are already failing to provide voter traction. This nation is looking forward, not backward.

    Put yourself in the minds of the terrorists–you know, the ones who'd love to blow up a few US cities with Ukraine's missing suitcase nukes? The ones we have on the run, but they're still there waiting for us to miss a beat? We have to understand them to defeat them.

    If you are Al-Qaeda, who do YOU want as President? Honest answer is, "A Democrat–hopefully not Biden, but he's better than any Republican." In the 04 election, Al Qaeda sided with the Democratic party openly. This year we can't count on them to make things so obvious for us. Look, I am not a Republican, but I'm not insane. We can't afford to elect anyone from the Party of Military Self-Defeat, till Al Qaeda is finally put down. Sept. 11 was just 6 years ago, not 100. Don't give up so quickly, America. Show 'em some backbone!

    January 2, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Ted

    This doesn't surprise anyone. Clinton has zero experience. According to Dick Morris, after the hillary-care fiasco, bill banned her from everything and sent her to foreign countries to shake hands so she wouldn't cause more damage. No wonder her "experience" is locked away and she refuses to unlock it, she has none!

    January 2, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. Glenda

    Quite frankly, Americans have become incredibly passive and expect next to nothing from their Presidential candidates. NONE of the Democratic or Republican candidates are qualified to lead us at this critical juncture. Gore 2008!

    January 2, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Anna, SW Missouri

    I admit that I am a politcal junky. I watch CNN and FOX NEWS. I am independent in my voting record, voting for Republicans and Democrats in the past. I have visited all of the candidates websites. I have not made up my mind on a candidate. This week I have watched CSPAN. They have covered all of the canidates in Iowa. There is no commentary, just the canidates speaking. Last night I watched Glenn Beck interview Ron Paul.

    FOX is very biased in their reporting, but they admit that they are the Republican New channel. I am very disapointed in CNN. I watched Blitzer interview HRC when she made the big announcement that she was calling on Pakistan to allow and independent investigation into Bhutto's assasination, and he did not mention that John Edwards had called Musharaf and asked that he have an independent investigation the day before. HRC was acting like this was her idea.

    Let's face it people, there is not one front leading canidate on either party that has real foreign policy experience. Granted, several have visited other countries, but none have been in a position to make the decisions that they all are claiming to be able to make. That said, then I feel we all need to look at how they go about making decisions. Not only foreign policy decisions, but decisions about how to improve Washington so that Congress and the next President will be able to work together and get something done.

    If we are to look at their experience, then it is very important to actually look at how they work with the other party to accomplish what "We the People" want done to turn this country around. I am HRC's age, and so I lived through the same things she did. I had great hope for the country when her husband was elected, but I also remember how she handle the Health Care issue, and it was disastorous. She did not work across party lines, like she is trying to tell everyone that she does. She is someone that has been running for President for the past 7 years, and touts that she has the most foreign policy experience, has the best advisors at her side, and knows how to get things done from "Day One" The problem with this latest mistatement, is that I even knew that Masharaf had been elected and this upcoming election was to elect a Prime Minister and Parliment. So much for knowing the right people and having the best advisors.

    Bill had no foreign policy experience, nor did George W. Bush. George Senior did, and he decided to stay out of Iraq, even at the dismay of the neocons that wanted him to take out Saddam when we freed Kuwait. Rudy handled the cleanup, but that doesn't give him foriegn policy experience. Romney traveled to other countries to set up businesses, but that is not foreign policy experience, that is big business experience, and CEO's look at their bottom line, not how their decisions affect American citizens. All of the Senators write bills, but have not had to make decisions daily about what will affect all of us for years to come. All of the governors ran states, and had to balance the budget, so that gives them more experience in working across party lines if they had to work with the party other than their own to get what they wanted, but that certainly is not foreign policy experience.

    I think that this election will be based on character more than any election in recent history. This country can not continue the "go it alone" policy, and think that we will even have a country in 50 years. Most people think that we are a strong, unbeatable country, but if we do not pull together now, we are in grave danger of being extinct. We may be more than 200 years old, but in the history of the world, that is relatively young.

    I have not decided on which canidate to back, they all have flaws. Some more than others, but my decision will be the one that I think can work across party lines, can prove that their record is what they say it is, and has the character that will be able to work with other countries, and take us forward as the country that is the leader that we used to be for human rights and democracy.

    January 2, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. Mike

    Gee, sounds like Laura Bush should be the frontrunner. After all, she has the most recent 8 years experience as a president's wife.

    January 2, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Bill

    Please, Let us remember that George W. Bush had never been to an African, Asian, or Latin American country prior to his stealing the election. During the
    first campaign he repeatedly misunderstood and mispronounced names of
    countries or continents

    Let's give a little room in this non stop, whirl of last minute campaigning. All of the major democratic candidates are smarter and more intuitively knowledgable than
    Bush is even after 7 years in the W. House....

    January 2, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Alex

    I am a Republican and, as you might expect, I do not like Hillary very much. But to be fair to her I may admit that our Republican gang is not very competent either. No wonder we have so many foreign policies snafu's. Examples: Condoleezza Rice did not know about Al-Qaeda before Sep.11. Another gaff: In her interview to 'Time' she said that Taliban is 'in bed' with Iran (actually they were bitter enemies, Iran at some point even considered punitive military raid to Afghanistan). Some highest ‘brass’ in our intelligent agencies was caught of not knowing the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. Current Press Secretary Dana Perino did not know anything about Cuban Crisis, etc. So Hillary is not alone!

    January 2, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. JohnnyT

    It would seem Ms. Hillary is a lot better informed on the subjects that really matter: Obama declaring his candidacy for President in Kindergarten and his past use of drugs.

    We can also not forget that, just after Bhutto's assassination, Clinton verbally assaulted the Musharraf government in hintng at his corruption, his complicity in the attack and demands for an outside investigation, rather than condemning the Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists who killed Bhutto and have attempted to assassinate Musharraf himself on several occasions.

    Somebody made a very good point that today's situation in Pakistan is not unlike that in pre-1979 Iran, when President Carter force-fed the Shah reforms and measures that only guaranteed the ascendance of Khomeini and the dominance of radical Islam in Iran.

    However unpalatable an ally Musharraf is, the alternative would be far worse. How is it that I as an ordinary citizen know all this, but Hillary doesn't?

    January 2, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Kristy Sanborn, Buckhorn, Mo.

    How does the New York Democrat get Musharraf's PARTY, not himself (Musharraf) in particular, out of Hillary's "If President Musharraf wishs to stand for election...."?????????
    And the Clinton campaign wasn't available for comment yesterday.
    So they only make themselves available when its convienent.

    January 2, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. calvind98362@msn.com

    John Edwards, Honest?! A personal injury lawyer honest? Man oh man, you must have had a big glass of the kool-aid.

    January 2, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Veronica

    That is the difference not only in IQ but also between 'experience' and experience.

    January 2, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. Robert New York City & Miami, Florida


    January 2, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Jeff from Jersey

    Biden is just another political "lifer" who thinks he knows what's going on and has nothing to show for all of his "experience" but rhetoric.He's been on committee's,been on the talk-show and media circuit so long he's almost become "MAX HEADROOM" and speaks political doubletalk so fluidly that he probably couldn't hold a conversation in any other language including day-to-day english.You'd think this guy would have learned something about campaign smear tactics when his run at the presidency way back in 1988 ended because of it.
    1988 PEOPLE!This guy is a professional politician whose only real "experience" has been constantly running for election!This is his third try at the whitehouse and is a 6 term senator so do the math.With 2 full years of campaigning necessary he has spent 18 full years just running for office.Some experience.

    Obama wasn't even close to being the first to point out that Pakistan was a problem that was being ignored.There have been literally hundreds of other politicians that have pointed this out for several years now but all of THEM have been ignored.Obama is the new kid on the block that is trying to fit in by bragging about things he wasn't the first to do.He's just another politician that has invented a political persona to try and get votes.He's been doing nothing but blowing smoke up our butts about "new ideas" that have been around for years.

    January 2, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. Dave

    Just goes to show that her "preparedness" to be President is a myth. I love how her campaign tried to spin it.

    She is a joke. She has done nothing in this world that tells me she is ready to be Pres.

    Woopty. She was first lady. Is Laura Bush ready for the Presidency?
    She is a Senator. Can anyone name any of her key legislation?

    She is riding Hubby's coat tails.

    January 2, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Bill Wallen

    If the Democrats expect to win the White House, they have only one chance, Hillary Clinton

    Obama doesn't have a Prayer.

    Can you imagine a Obama cabinet?
    Jesse Jackson
    Oprah....... etc

    January 2, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. Steve from Ohio

    I seriously wonder how many of the candidates could even find Pakistan on an unmarked map!
    The Republicans all seem to be blissfully naïve and the Democrats are all blithering idiots when it comes to foreign policy.
    Either way somebody is probably going to screw things up when they get elected.

    January 2, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |

    I thought it was telling that CNN put Hillary on for that long and let her pretend to be the expert on a subject she obviously knows nothing about. They clearly are trying to get Hillary elected. Then you have FOX and ABC dropping certain candidates from debates. It would be nice if we could elect our officials instead of the media.

    January 2, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. Doug

    Jon wrote:

    "Do we need another Clinton Administration…..hmmm lets see I dont think America can handle no debt and a surplus of money”

    Apparently, Jon doesn't understand the difference between a deficit and debt.

    The US ran a surplus, not a deficit during some of the Clinton years, due mostly to the surging economy that started too late to help Bush 41 be re-elected. Also, Clinton was dealing with a Republican House and Senate that helped reign in spending.

    However, the country was still in debt when Clinton left office.

    January 2, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Party Pooper

    Wait... I am not sure if Parvez the prez does have a party. He is supported by the Muslim League, but does he really have a party?


    January 2, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20