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. Anonymous

    The Democrats, with few exceptions, are an emotional party.

    Joe Biden is a logical / sequential thinker and is capable of leading the US.

    Hillary and many other Democrats are emotional leaders that hope to get elected on the voters "feelings".

    Too many Democrats think in a void. Democrats may not like it, but we as a nation are competing on so many levels in the International Arena IE: Economic, Military, Geo-Political etc. The world is competitive and wishing it not true is futile.

    The facts of politics are much like Physics. Deny if you wish but gravity and time will win. The rest of the world DOES not and WILL not operate on "feelings" and an emotional leader will seriously damage our nation for many years to come.

    If Hillary is elected because she is female (emotional vote), America will get what we deserve.

    No more... no less.

    January 2, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  2. Bill, Las Vegas, NV

    While I've been in Vegas working for the children of America, I have to point out that Hillary did not say what she said to Wolfy and on ABC. What she said is that Pakistan needs a President like her in the White House and that President Musharraf also wants her there to add stability to the world. Hillary has vast experience with everything and that includes Pakistan because she actually, personally met folks there and has eaten Pakistani food as well. None of the other candidates can say that. And what about that near-fatal plane ride where Hillary practically took control of the plane and made a perfect corkscrew landing on top of the palace. Sinbad soiled himself, but Hillary, being a co-president, took the lead – just as she will take the lead and make life perfectly fine for our children and make the rich pay for it. Anyone who says different is just prejudiced against women and children and also hates blacks. Hillary and I have always talked about foreign policy since we were at Yale together and she knows what foreigners are like and can spot them as well as anyone. She particularly likes those who come in from Mexico and vote for democrats without any identification – because its not fair to them to require it. They're poor. They can't speak English and they care about children – that's why they are good Democrats. I can honsetly say that while I'm working for the children here in Vegas at a very nice homeless shelter called Pure Platinum. . no, I think this one is called "Fantasy Palace," I hope all good caring patriotic Iowans reject Mr. Barak Hussein Osama, I mean Obamba. Whatever. Hillary can make the Earth cleaner and children smarter just by being in the same room. That's foreign policy! Go Hillary!!

    January 2, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. catherine

    umm... joe... musharraf was reelected three months ago, not half a year ago.

    biden, in his self righteous rant, got it wrong too... which is kind of worse, no? if you're going to attack someone for not understanding foreign politics, you'd better get your own facts straight first.

    January 2, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Greg, Phoenix, AZ


    yet another BIG mistake for Team Hill

    guess all that experience is not translating into running a sharp campaign...if they keep this up they may end up blowing what would amount to a 4 TD lead in a football game...

    REALLY like the campaign person's outright lie that Hillary was referring to Musharraf's party and not him...THIS is representative of the kind of people Hillary and are campaign are, and THIS is the kind of people SOME are willing to entrust the future of this country to...SCARY beyond all belief!

    January 2, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. C, Norfolk, VA

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

    Mark – Michigan January 2, 2008 11:28 am ET


    The difference, Mark, it that Hillary proclaims herself to be extremely experienced in foreign affairs and can "hit the ground running". According to her, she stands head over shoulders above the other candidates in experience, foreigh and domestic. GW made no such proclaimation in 1999. Bill Clinton has been describing Hillary with superlatives as well. Biden has merely pointed out what many people have already known. Hillary is not what she, and "husband" Bill, says she is. If she did not have the surname she has, we wouldn't even be discussing this woman.

    January 2, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Dave Diamond, Mont Vernon, NH

    Clinton will be surrounded by lots of knowledgeable people, right? So her own personal lack of grasp of the situation is irrelevant, right?

    Ha - I thought the same thing about George W. Bush some seven years ago. How bad could things be with all of the smart people he's surrounding himself with?

    Boy did we ever get burned back then. The president has to juggle so much, and has to delegate so much.

    But the important stuff - please, can we have a president that's ready on day one to deal with it all himself/herself? PLEASE?

    Joe Biden will be that president and I can't wait for my chance to give him my vote just six days from now!

    January 2, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Ohio Bob

    Only problem with Biden is that he can't resist trying to be the brightest boy in the room. Subsequently, he shoots from the hip and says incredibly stupid things (especially when taking into account his genious). He is also a bit of a hot-head (and that is putting it mildly) and the poster-boy for churlish, acerbic behavior . As such, Biden, as President, would be a total disaster. He would be a polarizing figure that could be counted upon to cause logjam after logjam in the legislative process.

    January 2, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. amit joshi

    You shouldn't be too harsh on presidential candidates. How many average americans can point out pakistan on a world map?

    January 2, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. L Grant

    The face of foreign policy???!!???

    January 2, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. julie slc ut.

    The republicans could use this to flatten her in a general election. I wish this was getting more press. It blows a hole in Hillary's biggest (manufactured) strength.
    Imagine the ads they could run- since she said it twice, on tape.

    It could cost dems the election in 2008.

    January 2, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. Sérgio, Porto, Portugal

    Obama/Biden is the ticket for America...says a Portuguese!

    Hillary will just continue the rhetorics everyone hates.....Hillary, Romney, Giuliani are just some other phony politicians....

    January 2, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. Richard, Ewing, NJ

    I am a Republican, but I always respect wise Democrat. I have great admiration for Biden, even I disagree with him on several issues because I respect his wisdom and conviction. Chris Dodds is great too. I have never understand why the Democrat Party (this year) run three of the least experience candidates: Clinton, Obama and Edwards. Clinton is not a "experience" candidate even she claimed she is. Biden is. Clinton has only been on the senate for less than 7 years and she did not accomplish a lot.. There is no Hilary Clinton bill. Joe Biden served in the Congress for 34 years, though 7 presidents. He is the current Chairman of Committee on Foreign Relations, Sub-committees of Drug and Crime and Sub-committees of Narcotics Control. Finally, of course, there are countless legistration produced by Biden. The most famous one is probably the Biden Crime Bill. He was the Chairman of Committee on Juiciary. Hillary Clinton's foreign policy knowledge is very lack, atlhough she is still much better than Obama.

    January 2, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. Chris

    This gaffe is brutal. We all could have looked up the correct answer on google of their political situation in about 5 minutes.

    Wikipedia probably describes the situation fully lol.

    Go Obama 08!

    January 2, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. SW

    CNN = Clinton News Netwwork
    All the news worthy of giving billary more power and money at your expense.

    January 2, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Bill, Las Vegas, NV

    Oh, I forgot to mention that when I was President none of this was a problem. Hillary was a big part of that also. She constantly advised me to go after Obama Bin Laden, and but even though she tried and tried almost every day to personally kill him, the Republicans constantly thwarted her efforts. Just ask Harry Reid. Why, my friend Amber here remembers that, dontcha darlin? Anyway, Joe Biden is not entirely honest when he says Hillary does not know foreign policy. We all remember Ronald Reagan, right. Well she's like a Democrat Ronald Reagan, but one who cares for children and that include Pakistani children as well. Enough said.

    January 2, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. wallyman

    Hillary has got the experience, eh? I heard Penn say she has 35 years experience helping others. That would be since 1972. Why didn't she help before she graduated from law school in 1972?? All of her helping has helped her get her husband elected over and over, and that's it. Four or eight years of the "First Laddie" would drive everyone crazy.

    January 2, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  17. wayne

    Hillary is uninformed (the election comments), dishonest (Rose law firm records) and butt-ugly. Why would anybody vote for her?

    January 2, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Marmy

    After Zaphod BeebleBush, anyone's an improvement. But Hillary should have smarter people supporting her when she's expected to speak on hot foreign policy topics. This could be a harbinger of problems if she's elected - people close to the candidate tend to be hired in the WH if the candidate is elected.

    Smarter reporters calling candidates out on stupid/wrong answers should be the norm, not the exception. I'm tired of sitting at home shouting questions at the TV that are never asked.

    January 2, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Jacque Bauer

    Everyone has once again misinterpreted a Clinton's twist of the language.

    Hillary has experience with foreign affairs in just about every country on earth. However, since Bill never had any bimbos from Pakistan, she actually has no such experince in that country!

    January 2, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. george

    Butto looted Pakstan, and she let her 19-year-old son to be the ppp chair . you thought this is democracy? if so, Bush will let her daughters to be the next president right away. don't need a election

    January 2, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. Richard, Ewing, NJ


    I believe Melane was being sacrastic. Notice she wrote "Lesbians that are not impeded by male influence will change this country". Melane is actually taking a cheap shot and calling Hillary Clinton a lesbian. No Clinton supporter will do this. She also intentionally act very irrational just to prove the point that no rational people can support defend her - not on this Pakistan mistake. Hillary Clinton might as well claim there is a queen in Afgahistan.

    January 2, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  22. K~

    Just goes to show .......... you're not electing the PERSON running for President, but the WRITERS of their speeches. Who has a CLUE?

    January 2, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  23. Leo, Mesa Arizona

    We all make mistakes and it is so difficult to be knowledgeable in all areas ... even for a potential presidential candidate. That having been said, I honestly feel Obama is far more educated and talented. Not to mention his wife would make quite a first lady. They are both highly dedicated. Obama's heart is in the right place. Study this man's credentials before turning elsewhere. GO OBAMA! Thx.

    January 2, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. NIck Young

    Blah, Blah, Blah..............
    Lets hold the election this week and be done with it.....Save hundreds of millions, end all the back stabbing, lying, and slanderous comments......Our process of elections has become a joke...

    Nick Young

    January 2, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. hudd

    Dems are too concerned about bean counting and getting minority candidates to the front of the pack, ignoring their most viable candidates like Biden. Meanwhile the GOP is quietly brewing a stronger ticket than anyone's anticipating...Giuliani is not going away, and his family squabbles will become quite forgettable if(when) terrorism and national security become big issues again.

    January 2, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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