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. Jeff J

    I've been wondering....my wife is an obstetrician/gynecologist. Does that mean that because I've been with her 15 years that I'm qualified to deliver babies? Do surgery? Perform PAP smears?

    I'm thinking no.

    So why the heck does anyone with half a brain think that Hillary is 'the experienced' one? She's on par with Obama as far as inexperience goes, neither should be allowed within a breath of the Oval Office.

    Ron Paul for President.

    January 2, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. freddycohen

    Man, I cannot stand bi-partisan politics. Then again, when is politics NOT bi-partisan.

    January 2, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. mike

    On YouTube.com Now!!!!!

    "Obama Portrait Music Video by Bjarne O"

    Iowa and beyond!! OUR TIME IS NOW. We will make history with Obama in '08!!!!

    January 2, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Walt, Belton, TX

    Say, General Ripper,
    Don't forget the slime ball she sent into the National Archives to remove a bunch of papers which were originals and no other copies available. Wonder what he got paid for that?

    January 2, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  5. Alex, Kansas City, MO

    Joe has my vote! Find out why: http://www.SoonerThought.blogspot.com

    January 2, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. kbach

    It's not the initial lie, it's the coverup, that always sinks the Clintons. The next question from CNN for Hillary better be "Do you stand by what your campaign said, that you meant 'the Party' and not Musharraf? Are you going to let those same out-of-control campaign spokespersons speak for you during your presidency? Or are you going to stick to the [ridiculous] explanation?" Frankly, I'm sick of parsing these people.

    January 2, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. pm

    Hey (J. McKinney SW MO) You're wrong! I'm just a nobody and I KNEW that the election in Pakistan was for the Parliment and not for the President. You're bias and/or love affair for the Clintons is showing through. AND YES this is a big deal that a candidate... I don't care who it is.... does not know the difference.

    January 2, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  8. gunter

    carol l.a.

    you live in a freeking bubble & it's filled with smoke.

    January 2, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. Bill

    I think the real story is how the media, this time with old lackey George Stephenopolephlopolis just goes along with whatever Hillary says. Didn't they cover the election of Musharef (?) Or do they only cover local news?

    January 2, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. Bill

    I think the real story is how the media, this time with old lackey George Stephenopolephlopolis just goes along with whatever Hillary says. Didn't they cover the election of Musharraf (?) Or do they only cover local news?

    January 2, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. Robert Stein

    There are small signs that Biden could do well enough in Iowa to stay in the race. If he doesn't, it will diminish the field in more ways than one:


    January 2, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. Andrew Jackson

    If Bush had made such a mistake as Hillary did, all of you Hillary defenders would be bashing Bush right now. Neither person is fit to be president of this country, but why must you Hillary defenders be such hypocrites? There is a better choice. Ron Paul for president.

    January 2, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Epp

    The fact that Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, both long time, intelligent, well established Democratic leaders are barely a blip on the electoral radar and that Hillary and Barak (BOTH extremely low on experience) are both soaring shows the shallowness of the current electorate on the Democratic side.

    God help us all.

    January 2, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. AJ, IL

    Sorry JEFF J...having experience as a doctor is a lot different than having experience as a politician. The two don't mesh. Anyone can be a politician but not everyone can be a doctor. A look at our past presidents should remind everyone of this. America's had past presidents that include a peanut farmer and an Hollywood actor. With a few years of city or state or national government experience, any politican can run for president.

    Ask yourself, truly what does the President of the US do? What is his or her role in Government? Why does the President have so many cabinet members, advisors, and staff that report to him or her?

    The role of any leader is to set the vision and direction. In politics, you generally have to be articulate, convincing, inspiring, trustworthy and offer good judgement. All of this stuff about having extensive political experience is a bunch of crap. Every major political leader from the US president to US Senators to City Mayors rely on their staff to provide them with the best possible information, and then that political leader makes a judgement or decision. No political leader is all knowing in the realm of education, economics, energy, law, transportation, foreign affairs, climatology or agriculture to name a few.

    OBAMA in '08!

    January 2, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. khyland

    Liberals are like lemmings,every two years they jump off a cliff whether they need to or not. Joe Biden 1972
    He spoke the truth then and he still does today.He is the only Democrat in the race that knows what is going on in the world.The rest just want to buy your vote by appealing to your wallet.Joe tells it the way he see's it not the way he thinks you want to see it.

    January 2, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  16. gunter

    I once saw Queen Elizabeth ride by in a motorcade.
    I saw Jack Kennedy and Nikita Kruschev when they visited my home town.
    I ate in the same cafe that Jacque Chirac used to visit once in awhile.
    I visited the wailing wall where many world leaders have also visited.
    I saw the pope.
    I guess I'm almost as close to many world leaders as Hillary has been, that should make me capable of taking over from day one, as well.
    Oh, I forgot, I also stayed in a Day's Inn once. That should put me over the top.

    January 2, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. Nicholas Boise Idaho

    It would be very easy for him to lose the presidency if the parliamentary elections don't go the way of his party. Once a new non-Musharraf coalition were sworn in, he could be deposed (no confidence vote) and replaced within a month of the election. So she slips by on a technicality...

    January 2, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Desider

    People seem to be missing that Biden was wrong as well. The Pakistani presidential elections were in October, not "6 months ago", and Musharraf was not confirmed until November when he fired the Supreme Court and appointed a new loyal one.

    Biden's international wisdom isn't oh so great, and all of these distinctions are fairly trivial and unimportant for people who are focused more on daily campaigning.

    January 2, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  19. J. Francisco, Yakima, WA

    I concur with many here, this is a very legitimate issue and a totally valid concern. Right on Senator Biden good for you to show forthrightness by informing the public about this necessary and weighty issue!

    January 2, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  20. Gay Willie, SF, CA

    Aa a gay American who has lots and lots of gay friends, I support Hillary and what she said about the pakistan thing. Who cares anyway? Even my one straight friend who fixes my apartment roof likes her because she's soooooo smart and cares about children. She only wants the best for the world and who are we to question her? Huh?? My second choice is John Edwards BECAUSE he's SOOOOOO Cute. What a cutie President he would make. Cute!!!! All the Republicans are icky. They hate gays because we care about America and they hate everything except money and bombs. They even hate the earth because they want global warming. Joe Biden is cute, but take advice and lose the fake hairpiece. Richardson is spooky also. Dennis looks like an elf and I would vote for him if I knew what he was going to do as President.

    Iraq is a mess and they need to drop me and a few thousand of my gay friend there to clean and decorate it a little. Too much mauve and sandy stuff around. Needs some color. Hillary know this and she should be President. Period. End of story,Lori. Got it, Rocket?

    Aren't you glad that my vote cancels your vote??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    January 2, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  21. MARY, KATY ,TX

    is the media trying to stay out of this one?
    since they ruined Howard Dean by replaying the Dean scream without back ground noise over and over and over again
    Making him look crazy>..
    the 24 hour news networks have more power then they need to
    but i agree they need to try to bring some independant balance to what politicians say and what is closer to the truth..... shouldn't they?
    and i do mean to all parties no partisan favorites
    just some work for the truth unbais truth

    January 2, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. stacyshaw

    Time after time, Joe Biden has demonstrated the intelligence and wisdom to be President. Joe Biden has earned my vote.

    January 2, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. kip

    The problem HRC has is her campaign stands for nothing. Obama stands for change and Edwards stands for helping the lower and middle classes.
    The only point HRC seems to make is she should be President because she is entitled to the position. She feels entitled to the Presidency by the fact that she lived in the White House and wants to move back into the mansion and have the privileges that come with living there once again for eight more years. Needless to say the public and electorate could care less about indulging her standard of housing and ego needs.

    January 2, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. George Masters


    She has foreign polivy experience!
    She never said she has knowledge and wisdom.

    Am reminded of a soldier who was at Dunkirk at the outbreak of WW II.
    He had experience - but it was only relevant in knowing the bitter taste of retreat.

    So give her a break!

    January 2, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. Mike

    If only Joe Biden had married Bill Clinton, then we'd have a real canidiate...

    January 2, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
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