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. George Masters


    She has foreign policy 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 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  2. Matt

    Smartest woman that ever lived? Obviously not!

    January 2, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  3. Andy, New York, New York

    Okay, Biden is right! Musharraf did 'win' the last elections for President, but his elected status was under review by the same judges he fired a few weeks back because he felt they were about to rule his election was invalid. (Ironically, the same judge he fired were the ones he hired)!

    Had the judges ruled his election was invalid, it would have meant he had to step down as President, creating a vacuum, so he pre-empted them with the emergency rule stroke.

    With Bhutto originally set to participate in the parliamentary election for the PRIME MINISTERSHIP, (at the request of Condi Rice) and was likely to win hands down, Musharraf was not comfortable with that outcome. After all, it was he who in 1999 ran Bhutto out of office on corruption charges that also landed her husband (Minister of Investments) in jail while she fled into self-imposed exile in Dubai and London.

    Hillary did make a political gaffe that could come back to haunt her since she has been claiming she has all the experience. She may do well domestically, like Bill, but I think she is going to sink on the foreign affairs front. Bill didn't do well there either.

    January 2, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  4. C.M.

    why doesn't this get more attention?

    Neither as a supporter or as an antagonist for Biden or Clinton, it seems to me that when a leading candidate not only fails to keep an eye on something that creates anxiety but flops on the most essential and central element of their campaign, that this deserves more than a 10pt. font-size link on the Politics page. This is important.

    There are supporters of HRC commenting here that sadly describe her foreign policy inexperience as secondary to her perceived ability to lead from within. This argument would have been valid in 1800's and early 1900's, but in a post-WWII world, it's foolish to believe that foreign policy and domestic policy aren't two faces of the same body, and absolutely necessary.

    January 2, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Ray

    Easy to see that many people posting here listened to Rush Limbaugh today. This little blip gave him opportunity for one of his Hilary rants.. A number of people here parroted that crap back...

    You folks appear desperate to beat her down. Probably Dubbya supporters...

    January 2, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. Rambo

    Sillary is a hatchet man period. She does the dirty work for Bill, e.g. killing Vince Foster, taking out the bimbos , and other capo work. She hasn't a clue about history, world political strategy, or anything else not connected to eliminating opponents. She slaps around the Blitzers of the media because they are rightly afraid of her. Can there be enough Kool-Aid drinking dems to elect her?

    January 2, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  7. Stranger

    Are you kidding? We just put up with Bush for 7 years and counting, and I doubt if he could find Pakistan on a world map.......even if the names weren't blanked out!

    January 2, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. independent voter

    Biden is my favorite candidate, he's the most knowlegable on domestic and foreign issues. Biden always stands out in the debates as the most Presidential. Biden also can bring in moderate ( both parties) voters and independent voters. Biden also the only Democratic candidate who can win any debate against the Republicans on ( The War, National security, and the moral issues) Most important, he is respected by both partys and that will give us a chance to be united as a country once again.

    January 2, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  9. demwit

    H is for Huh??

    January 2, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. Rob

    Biden is doing the Lord's work.

    January 2, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  11. Charles in Salt Lake City, UT

    Gosh, how totally (yawn) surprising...

    Is it any wonder this woman won't take or answer questions? Or trust her daughter to do so, even when they come from a nine-year-old?

    Sadly, this isn't the first time arrogance and ambition have been mistaken for competence and ability, and it won't be the last.

    January 2, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. Cody

    If you think he can't win, I suggest otherwise. Visit http://www.kucinichcantwin.com

    January 2, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  13. greg,new york

    this story has gotten more comments then any other that I have seen on cnn, yet it was not discussed on the new stonight on cnn or msnbc or fox.Well at least I did not see it. but I glad so many people here responded,it just means some of us care about the issues.

    January 2, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. janet

    Oh dear..........as I read though this huge list. of blogs, I am only thankful that some of the idiots who write on here are not running for president. I do find it interesting as to how many see through Hillary, but I hope that carries to the caucuses. As Andrew Young said, "Obama is too young, not seasoned enough and should run in 2016. ' The only candidate who truly qualiflles to be our next president is Joe Biden. He has more wisdom, knowledge , experience and intelligence than the whole bunch on either side. To the guy who said Obama is the best educated, do you have any idea how many college graduates are just that....nothing else. A degree from Harvard does not qualify one to be president of this country. Yes, it shows intelligence, but enormous experience in this area is a must. Too, I think it is disgraceful that one of you referred to Biden as a "dolt.". He is so far above you that you can't even touch him.......... Go back to school and learn some manners.

    I wonder how many of these blogs come from those who truly follow politics. Looks like many of you only want to say whatever comes to mind with very little knowledge and often, very little education. How one writes tells a great deal about their opinion. If you never learned that, don't write. Many of you will be voting in the election in November, so I hope you have done some homework before you check that ballot. Biden 2008

    PS: Please not that I didn't run any of the Republicans into the ground. I was one for many years, but the Bush years lost me as a Republican........

    January 2, 2008 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  15. Josh

    This really showcases Hillary's lack of knowledge, in what she tries to present as an all-knowing, super experienced presidential candidate. Sorry Hillary, Good Ole' Joe caught ya! ha ha

    Obama 08!!

    January 2, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  16. janet

    It is encouraging to me that so many of you checked on what Joe Biden had said.

    I note that from what you say, not many of you follow politics closely due to so many mis-statements. I will say that I havefollowed Biden for a number of years on C-Span and the like. I also bought and read Joe Biden's book, so I am pretty well informed about him.

    It is not my intention to run down any of the candidates. I will say that I was surprised at how many seem to see through Hillary Clinton. She is not my idea of a person with vast experience to run this great country. Intelligent, yes, but I see her as the great pretender so she and Bill can return to The Whitehouse with all tthe perks when her term is over.....or double bonus.

    I have lots to say but CNN won't allow me to say it, so I have shortened my piece considerably. I hope this passes their muster. I've seen a considerable amount which they allowed to pass......... hmmmm????

    BIDEN IN 2008

    January 2, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  17. janet

    BIDEN 2008


    January 2, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  18. janet

    Thank you, CNN for allowing my pieces........ janet

    January 2, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  19. BeckyB

    I love Joe Biden! Not a chance to win but he sure would make a good VP or Cabinet member for our next president, Barack Obama!!

    OBAMA 08 and 12

    January 2, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  20. Ming Chang

    I don't get these Hillary supporters. Totally Brainwashed.... They will believe anything she says. LOL... I'd like to meet some of them, I'd like to dupe them, too.

    January 2, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  21. ninja

    It's naive to think you can change the world by inflicting your will upon it. Wether you think you "understand" the situation on the ground or not. Liberals won't be able to "fix" our foreign policy or maintain the American world empire by throwing money at it because there won't be money available without creating it out of thin air which means your getting both taxed and robbed to pay for another countries "security"!?!

    20 plus years of a Bush/Clinton dynasty???? Are you out of your mind?

    Failed policy, failed policy, more failed policy, followed by even more failed policy


    January 2, 2008 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  22. Kathryn

    After reading through all these notes, I'm a bit disgusted with the rhetoric from most. First of all, Joe Biden is intelligent, knowledgeable, experienced, and respected by members from both sides of the aisle. There is not another person running, from any party, that can pull off a bi-partisan decision or resolution like he can.

    Secondly, Joe Biden has both the domestic AND the foreign policy experience we MUST have in this global world. When some of you speak as if Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc. don’t matter, I know you are not looking at the big picture. Now more than ever, we must come to the realization that the world does not start and stop at the East and West coasts!

    And lastly, there is no way Joe Biden should be vice president. Why in the world would anyone want to lose his experience and ability in working for us? He has much more to offer than being an ambassador-for-the-president.

    He has the fierceness, ability, wisdom, and experience we need for America.

    January 2, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  23. Robert M. Reidy N.Y.

    A new chapter is about to be writ'ten, Obama will be elected by an appeal to
    all that represents a quantum leap in human consciousness. He represents
    that rare gift of courage and a heart for the people. We respond to his decency
    and vision which says a lot about where we are at and now ready for.

    Most encouraging and exciting!

    Rock the nation and the world!
    Barock the vote!!!

    January 2, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  24. Jess in IA

    What really surprises me is that some of you are making comments about how right Joe is followed by an "Obama in 08!" tag line. What?

    Joe has proven over and over what a great leader he is what an understanding of foreign policy he has and the ability to bring people together from across the isle.

    Joe has the ONLY plan to get out of Iraq with bipartisan support.

    I work in politics in Iowa. I've met all the candidates. Joe is the most real and sincere. Hillary is nice and very personable, but for me is just too polarizing for me to rally behind, though I will if she is the nominee.

    But for me, I'm caucusing for Joe Biden. Because JOE IS RIGHT!

    January 2, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  25. Enrique S

    Folks, that was the Great Female Hope ...and World-Class Genius speaking!

    If any candidate knows the Middle-East, isn't it plainly BARACK OBAMA ?


    January 2, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
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