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. Mike, Owosso, MI

    Go Hillary !

    January 2, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. teddy orlando

    00OOOOPPPPSSSssss!! My Bad

    I thought it was just me

    Plus the obvious lie by the clinton campaign again!!! why not just say ooops she made a mistake i think people would have respected that more then spinning the mistake.

    HRC is such a joke.

    Biden you go

    if Obama was not in the race i would vote for you


    Obama/Biden 08 – cant be stopped

    January 2, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. ken


    January 2, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. rodney dill

    already a lame duck before the election

    January 2, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |

    The scam artists are in full sway out of ARKANSAS !!

    January 2, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. John, Lincoln NE

    Atta' boy Joe. It's a shame the media doesn't give this the attention it deserves.

    This was not a slip of the tongue. She was very specific and it's obvious she believed that the election in question was for president and not the parliment. That should be a BIG red flag for someone who has 'so much experience' in these matters. The fact that she can't respond to a simple, 'oops, my mistake' even three days later is not surprising at all. The "say anything" candidate will certainly come up with some explanation of what she meant. Silly American public.

    Biden and Dodd are the only candidates with the type of experience that Clinton claims to have. She is making it the centerpeice of her campaign so it's fair game. If you are voting on experience qualifications then Sen's Biden or Dodd are your only choices.

    January 2, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Dallas, CA

    Oh come on, people. How many of you know the ins and outs of Pakistani politics?

    I am not a fan of Hillary by any means, but there are plenty of legitimate concerns to hit her on. This is silly. I consider myself fairly well-versed in national and international news and politics, but I'm sure I make such "gaffes" from time to time, and I'm not running a full-time 20-hour-a-day presidential campaign. Maybe she misspoke, maybe she didn't know. So what? No president has to know everything that's going on in the world–they all have a huge team around them of specialists in each area. Bush has that and still can't get things right half the time.

    Come down off your high horses, please.

    January 2, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  8. Gary Tierney

    Remarkable that either the Democrats or Republicans are chewing each other up over such things...but a good sign that they are holding each other accountable...considering that, after five years of war in Irag and Afghanistan, Bush couldn't point out either one on a world map.

    January 2, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. Chris

    Barack Obama has always been accurate with the greatest foresight on foreign policy discussion. Look up his 2002 Discussion of Iraq on YouTube or the 2004 discussion he had on YouTube.

    All of which highlight the quagmire we currently face with the conflicts along Sunni, Shia Muslims including the Kurds.

    He not only has policy to exit Iraq correctly while still having tactical strike advantages in the region through Kuwait, but also has policy on Iran, for Pakistan etc.

    If people want to learn and investigate and have the same knowledgeable perspective on things, then listen to Barack as he is the most educated of all the candidates. The best student Harvard Law has ever had.

    January 2, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. Lisa T., Plano, TX

    Joe Biden "gets it" in a big way. He has the experience, wisdom and tenacity to lead our country and is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack. We will regret it if he is not nominated as the Democratic candidate for POTUS. Biden '08!

    January 2, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |

    Everyone wants to jump down Hillary's throat for this "misstep" but if anyone was following the situation in Pakistan as I have even Benazir Bhutto herself seemed to suggest that Musharraf was running in this upcoming election. She repeatedly referred to him by name over and over in this election cycle–not his party. Also if anyone else has been paying attention Mrs Bhutto's husband is actually quoting Hillary Clinton and urging the government to follow her idea of allowing an international investigation into her assasination. If memory serves me no one was quoting Biden.

    The people who post here were never supporters of Hillary so they are eager to point out every single media driven misstep by Hillary Clinton. They want the story of the front-runner falling to a newcomer. Drives the ratings. When Obama makes mistakes like saying he will bomb inside the SOVEREIGN nation of Pakistan–the very country that is going through so much political turmoil now, he is given a pass by the media and his supporters. Doing that would be a DISASTER. Could you imagine what kind of turmoil would be going on inside Pakistan if this would have happened? A muslim nation with nuclear capability?

    What I urge is people in their incessant thirst for change not make a disastrous decision by voting for someone because they appeal to you emotionally. We all jumped on Bush supporters for doing the same thing. We were wondering what color glasses they were wearing when they RE-ELECTED him. Please don't make this mistake again America. Hillary may not be perfect, but she is our last great hope for taking back the White House.

    One last thing. Remember after the elections, you won't see any of these candidates again unless it's on TV. They won't know you you won't know them. It will be business as usual no matter WHO gets elected.

    HILLARY 2008 and Beyond!

    January 2, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  12. Mark - Michigan

    Beats 1999 when G.W. was asked who the leader of Pakistan and other countries were.


    Hiller asked Bush to name the leaders of Chechnya, Taiwan, India and Pakistan. Bush was only able to give a partial response to the query on the leader of Taiwan, referring to Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui simply as "Lee." He could not name the others.

    "Can you name the general who is in charge of Pakistan?" Hiller asked, inquiring about Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf, who seized control of the country October 12.

    "Wait, wait, is this 50 questions?" asked Bush.

    Hiller replied: "No, it's four questions of four leaders in four hot spots."

    January 2, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  13. Scott, Madison, WI

    Pretty sad that one of the so-called second tier candidates had to point out that all the experience – (witnessed – as pointed out by another so-called second tier candidate, Senator Dodd, thank you very much) – Queen Hillary is touting does not, indeed, make her any more qualified to "hit the ground running on day one" than any of the other candidates.

    And why isn't the oh-so-informed media picking up on these rather than just reporting them after they've been cited by other candidates? Maybe because they are all busy consulting their most reliable source, Dana Perino, White House Spokesmodel!

    January 2, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Brad, Stockton, CA

    Goodness... is this an example Hillary's foreign policy "EXPERIENCE?" If so, we would be far better off eliminating the exerience and going for the change.

    January 2, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. Richard Staniszewski, Fayetteville GA

    Typical Clinton bantor....Lot's of talk with little substance. Way to go Hillary!!

    January 2, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Rich

    The realy sad part is – unlike Huck at least she knows where Pakistan is and what Countries it borders. I don't like her – she doesn't even know what goes on in her own bedroom room, yet along this Country. None of the candidates are really any good. I just hope Huck doesn't win...that man is a threat to this Country.

    January 2, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Chuck

    And this surprises you???

    Hillary is a sham. The media continues to promote her, but everyone knows it.

    January 2, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. Jon Carry

    I love comments like those from Suma John. Always good to hear from such intelligent people!

    January 2, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Jacob, Lexington MA

    Yeah right, Hillary. I'm sure you were referring to th President's party, and not himself in particular. What a stretch of the truth! Spin away support staff.

    January 2, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. mike, dallas, TX

    So much for the Hillary "experience".
    But let us not forget the so called "pundits" Georgie and Wolfie didn't pick up on the mistake either when they interviewed her and it reflects in the shallowness of their knowledge.

    January 2, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Tobias

    Watching Hillary pontificate, with such an air of arrogance, about the political turmoil in Pakistan was disturbing in so many ways. Hillary was completely wrong across the board about the Pakistan candidates, elections and policies. Will the MSM report this or just continue to cower in fear to Hillary's intimidations.

    January 2, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  22. Ash, NY,NY

    After reading some of these posts, I am starting to feel better about this country. So many of you are not fooled by the bill/hill vaudville act! Good for you. If she is the dem nominee – I vote for McCain. WE NEED JOE BIDEN!!!!!! Biden 2008!

    January 2, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. jack taylor

    I am a Republican, but I believe that Sen. Biden is the best qualified to be President from the Democratic Party.

    January 2, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Kevin

    If she's nominated, the Republicans will clean our clocks. What a fool...always has been.

    January 2, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. nesnah

    It is an insult to all of us for them to think we are so lacking in intellegence, that they can say she was not referring to him but to his party, and for then to assume we would believe it.

    Just imagine how they would look down on the people in this country if they were elected.

    January 2, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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