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. Bill, OHIO

    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.

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

    I listened with great interest to a Joe Biden TV appearance New Years night. I thought his remarks concerning Pakistan were right on. Now today on CSpan there has been a panel of experts on Pakistani politics who nearly word for word recounted Bidens remarks. I am praying (if thats still ok in the USA) that the democrats will see the need for Joe Biden as our next president. I am registered republican but I will for the first time in my 72 years on this planet vote Democrat if Biden is the nominee.

    January 2, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  3. melane

    This is just another example of male gender bias. I dont care if she doesnt know where Pakistan is. We need a woman in the White House to offset the male garbage that has infiltrated the Democratic Party culture. Lesbians that are not impeded by male influence will change this country. Hillary will lead us and get the Democratic party back on track. Forget the Bidens and Obamas- they are jusy biased males that try to make us look bad.

    January 2, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. NM

    Everybody gave W grief for not knowing the name of the Pakistan's President. (The General!)

    But Hill gets a pass for not knowing that Mush rigged his own relection months ago!

    Bias? Ofcourse Not!!!

    January 2, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  5. Colin

    Hillary also said that there needed to be an independent investigation with which Obama disagreed. When Pakistan said they would handle the investigation, Obama said this showed he was right. I do not recall Biden disagreeing with Obama.
    Now Pakistan has agreed to Scotland Yard conducting an investigation. Based on this, Hillary was RIGHT and Obama and Biden were WRONG. Hillary's mistake was minor in comparison to Obama's "President of Canada" statement and other gaffs.
    Biden does has an exceptional knowledge of world affairs but that does not mean that he would be a good diplomat or able to improve relations with other nations. Biden's criticism of Hillary supports Obama who Biden had agreed earlier that his international experience was that of a child in Indonesia.
    It looks like Biden prefers an inexperienced Obama to a far more experienced woman and perhaps this explains his low standing in the polls.

    January 2, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  6. Jackson

    Wow. OOOPS is right. Though my clear choice is Edwards, seeing Hillary so noticeably screwing this one up is very distressing. Especially coming from the "experienced" candidate.

    Impressive that CNN is running this, since it seems they've been giving her a pass for so long.

    January 2, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  7. Mike, Baltimore, MD

    Haha! She has lost her self confidence

    January 2, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. Kevin, SF, CA

    What's the big deal about the leader of the country not having a few minor facts straight? Look at Bush : he didn't know Musharraf's name, and look at how awesome Pakistan turned out in the past 8 years.

    What we need is another president who doesn't quite have everything down pat, has to rely heavily on advisors for direction, and has the political skills to blame it on other parties.

    Or, we could just nominate and elect Biden, who has the skills, experience, and character to improve the sorry state of things.

    January 2, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. D Kirk

    It is sad indeed for the Dem to have the top 3 canidates so weak. Biden and Dodd are clearly the best suited to step in and lead us at this time in our history, but they are getting scraps in the polls.
    I am a Reb, an not at all happy about my options, but worse comes to worse and a Dem is elected, I just wish it was one the smart ones.

    January 2, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. maureengan

    Joe Biden's comment is very important. He specifically points out that Hilary has not done her homework on Pakistan. This is such a critical area in foreign policy -an area that she as a Senator working on Armed Forces committee should be well informed. Certainly, her campaign researchers (people versed in political science) should know how the government works in Pakistan. In any event, they should have been checking the news more carefully in the aftermath of the death of Mrs. Bhutto. If one looks back at her comments, that she knew Mrs. Bhutto-that is not as important as knowing how elections take place in that country. Her experience is bogus and her friend, Joe Biden is pointing that out.

    January 2, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. josh

    WAIT WAIT WAIT. Hillary has to win the primary. How else will conservatives win the general election.

    January 2, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  12. Bob H

    If Joe Biden was the Dem nominee – I would vote for him.....and I am a Republican......I've been impressed with him for years.....

    January 2, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  13. Harry, NY NY

    Thank you Joe for pointing out how "experienced" Hillary really is.

    Don't mention that Pakistan got nuclear capabilites during the Clinton admin.

    But what a great point! Already elected!

    January 2, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Shelly

    Not to offend anyone here, but when does an American, let it be from an upper class or lower class has an understanding of world affairs? Please, she is not alone and sure most of you could not point where Pakistan/Iraq/Saudi Arabia is on the map!
    I am a Brit, it amazes me how many people in this country do not know why we are a United Kingdom and think that England is the U.K.!

    Bush is a gaffe to humanity along with all the neocons in Washington. America will suffer greatly if this sort of politics are allowed to endure. How many of you read foreign newspapers or news on the net? Wakeup people, you are being denied the truth!

    January 2, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. FRANK


    January 2, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  16. icrutchfield

    Another 'oops' coming from the 'genius of the world' according to billy bob. Remeber the whopper told by her regarding her dangerous mission to bosnia? Caliming to be in a dangerous mission with a corkscrew landing? It just so happen, that her daughter, sheryl crow, and sinbad where with her, and no such thing happened. One servicemember on that mission told a different story, no danger involved at all.
    As Geffen said once: all politicians lie, but the clintons do it with so much ease, it's troubling!

    January 2, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  17. jen johns, riverside, ca

    God, that woman can lie! WHY can't she just say she goofed instead of lie, lie, lie...the woman is stupid and doesn't know her politics! This is bad especially since Pakistan has been dominating the news lately. Even my 11 yr. old grandson knows what's happening over there.
    This goes to mrs. clinton's lack of experience, and knowledge. She would be an 'understudy' president, just as you don't get the real thing when you see a play and the lead actor is off for the night and the understudy fills in. She is like riding on a flat tire that has been patched! She is used merchandise, never new and fresh, just old news, soooooo yesterday! Snap out of it America!

    January 2, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. Dennis Kelly

    The news media are little more than pretty faces and they don't know any more than a teleprompter tells them. They pronounce words improperly, couldn't find most of the places they discuss on a map and well – garbage in, garbage out. Of course these geniuses didn't catch Hillary's mistakes, or indeed those of anyone they interview. Their little minds are already going on to the next vacuous question and they don't even listen to the answer of the question they just asked. Mindless voters of course continue to vote for the candidate with the least wrinkles and most perfect hair and are even less educated than the media personalities they adore. I say we need to go back to the Constiutional beginnings when to vote you had to own property, which at least presumed you had a semblance of an education and probably were at least literate. This sorry state of affairs didn't start yesterday and it's not likely to get better anytime soon with the excellent educations being provided by our government school systems. We've had many exchange students, who although they come here as 16 year olds, already have the education of USA college sophomore. They were ranked #1 in their honors governement classes, even though they were brand new in our school. When asked to fill in a blank map of the country and name all the states and capitals, or a map of the world and all the countries, etc, they were the only ones to get them all right! They also knew all of our goverment functions and systems, our key leaders, our foreign policy, etc. Is this a sad situation or what?

    January 2, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  19. Ryan

    The interviewer shouldn't have to correct her, first off, because shes running for president in a country where we pride ourselves on international relations. And I'm pretty sure that was a quote by Joe, so it has nothing to do with him spelling 'retire' correctly...its obviously the aurthor of the article. I agree with Ian on this comment, completely. I am a moderate and am scared to see either HRC or Obama elected for reasons just like this. I hope all democrats are ready for atleast four more years of someone thats an elephant, not a donkey, because John Edwards is 'the next best' and he has the IQ of a bagel.

    And Suma John, just stay out of it, you obviously can't spell or correctly represent our presidents full name when you try to use it; you're immmediately void. Plus I'm sure you're nation's leader is a real winner, too.

    January 2, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  20. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    So she doesnt know what is going on in Pakistan...... that explains why she voted to invade Iraq and now claims she didn't, she probably made a mistake on that too! She probably confused with "invade Iraq" with "order lunch" and thought it was a grand idea. Same with Iran and everything else she did and then flips flops on.

    Wow, just what we need for President..... someone speaking about issues they are ignorant about, leads to great decisions (just see George Bush).

    Obama may not have these years of so called "experience" but he is bright enough to take advice from others and research a topic before voting on an issue. Clinton on the other hand while either just dive in and then take a poll to see if she needs to make excuses for her actions.

    January 2, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  21. Pete

    As Joe Biden once said, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

    January 2, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Justin K

    I really hope people begin to see Hilary for what she really is and thats just an excellent politician. She can dodge and move through tough questions better than anyone in the field. But, that doesnt mean she should be President. Its truly a shame someone like Biden isnt taken seriously as a top-tier candidate. He has the most experience out of any of them. Biden/Dodd Biden/Obama or hell even Gore/Biden wouldve worked for me. Instead, we have Hilary, sigh.

    January 2, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Tom in Loma Linda, California

    Experience counts. On the subject of Pakistan both Clinton and Huckabee demonstrated the are not ready for leading America. Voters should carefully reflect on which candidate is best prepared to be president of the United States. We live in a dangerous world where only knowledgeable, stable persons should occupy the White House. Neither Clinton, Huckabee, or Obama have the experience or capacity to be a good president. They are leading candidates but voters should drop them off their radar screens and look at other candidates. The depth of knowledge and leadership skills among the remaining candidates of both parties is not comforting but that doesn't mean we should get caught up in a poster contest for president. It's time to stop thinking about party politics and to give serious consideration to who is best among the remaining candidates to guide our nation in perilous times. That choice is yours but Clinton, Huckabee, and Obama don't make the list. I could add others (that are quite obvious) but the choice is yours. Get serious folks.

    January 2, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Wally

    Don't worry folks. The Clintons are EXPERT liars. As president, Hil will be able to lie right back to all those countries that lie to us all the time.

    Let's elect a moral-less liar as our next president. That will show the world who we really are!

    January 2, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. Trey

    Like any of your Biden supporters or Hillary bashers knew who was running in Pakistan, way to jump on a bandwagon of ignorance

    January 2, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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