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. old progrmr

    It appears the people are beginning to "get it", Mrs. Clinton is far from the smartest woman in the world. She makes numerous "gaffes" anytime she goes off-script. She also stated in another speech that she knew Bhutto and her two daughters very well. Obviously she didn't know that Bhutto also has a son who is now sharing the leadership of her party with her husband.

    The mainstream media is the bought and paid-for tool of the Clinton Machine, therefore, you never get any real exposure to the most experienced and intelligent Dem candidates, Biden and Dodd. Even as an independent conservative I would have no problem with either of these intelligent people being our President. But, they have no chance because the corrupt media is focused entirely on a Clinton victory. The American MSM propaganda machine would make that old nazi, Goebbels very proud. The MSM has concluded that in the end, neither Obama nor Edwards can be elected, so they also cover them to sell the public that the Dem campaign is "close" and in the end their annointed-one, Mrs. Clinton, has struggled to victory.

    January 2, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Jenny Bea

    Look- Joe Biden is CRAZY! But he's usually right about these things. Biden has experience- something her Royal Thighness has not. (Chris Dodd has experience, too. Like LOTS of it). Biden has been in the senate...how long? He and Chris Dodd are the only two people who are NOT empty suits. Every single other candidate is. If Joe weren't NUTS, I'd vote for him, but he's crazy. He's smart, though. Fine line betwen genious and insanity? I think Biden's been able to be on both sides of that line. Regardless, he knows what he's talking about, and I've watched him at almost every debate, and he has some of the best answers. Even if he is crazy, people should at least pay attention to him. I read alot of media from overseas, and I've only heard him say things incorrectly a couple times, where every one else messes up FREQUENTLY.

    January 2, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. B

    Hey, Marge in Hibbing, MN- the only thing Hillary helps is herself- to anything she wants. As a fellow Minnesotan, don't let the wind chill destroy remaining brain cells- wake up and realize she is a child of entitlement- from my era- and cares nothing about our country, or you- for that matter.

    January 2, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Ken

    If the nation elects Hillary Clinton it will be a dangerous four years in the world. She won her Senate seat without ever having faced unscreened questions from the press and now it is showing. I don't know what New Yorkers were thinking or maybe whether the voters there were thinking at all when they cast votes for Ms. Clinton.

    God forbid that we have to go nose to nose with another Hussein with her as commander in chief. She does not exhibit the maturity required of a world leader.

    We have an all volunteer military. They do not have to re-enlist when their hitches are up and I have spoken to many veterans who left the military due to a revulsion toward serving under her husband.

    January 2, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Rob

    I'm conservative and have been trying to tell you how scewed up the Clintons are for years. You people are finally getting it.

    January 2, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Gen X in MD

    This country is in need of quality leadership- and the best candidate amongst all candidates (dem and repub) is Joe Biden. He is a respectable and knowledgeable man who has served this country admirably. This country is in need of stability (let's not use the word 'change', I'm really getting tired of hearing it!)- and a sense of pride (again). Biden is the man who can lead through his vision and his It is not a time for a newbie like Obama to lead through on-the-job-training. That is pure insanity. Times have changed, and the political environment is very different than it was a decade ago.

    If we continue on the current path, I fear for my future, this country's future, and the future of my children. It is time voters take a serious look at his credentials. BIDEN 08!

    January 2, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. B. Christensen, Charleston S.C.

    Well I guess that I do not have to ask if Hillary is smarter than a fifth grader do I. So much for 35 years of experience per her propaganda commercial, that is being shown on T.V. We need someone with experience in domestic and foreign policy for the presidency. Not experience in helping people. If this is what her experience is in then she should be a social worker.

    January 2, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. Frank D

    Because of all her flaws, the republicans are very happy for her to become the democratic nominee for November election. I am very sorry, there wouldn't be any hand-waving in her resume and her so called foreign policy experience.

    January 2, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  9. wade sabean

    Sentor Biden is completely wrong. When Clinton made the comment she was talking about political parties and she meant the party that support Musharraf, ie PML-Q.

    January 2, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  10. Mike W

    I agree with Lynda. I'm a republican myself, but I think that Biden would be the best possible candidate for the democrats.

    January 2, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Neal J. King

    You guys are making a mountain out of a molehill: Under the stress of the first primaries, anyone could make a mistake like that. Who knows how much sleep any of them are getting?

    It may not be her "shining hour" of a performance, but in general, I think her understanding of the general situation in Pakistan (Musharraf has extended his formerly military control through to a nominally civilian control, by rigging the elections, both his own and the Parliament's) is good enough. As President, she will have experts advising her on fine details.

    The important question is, Will she be consulting them for their expert knowledge, or feeding them the lines that she wants to hear (a la Cheney/Bush)? As long as she's willing to listen to what the experts actually have to say, she should do OK.

    January 2, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  12. yeo

    so i guess clinton is ready to lead from day 1!


    January 2, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Larry

    If Bush made a gaffe like that it would be front page news.

    January 2, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. FStar

    I guarantee that most people who posted here condemning Sen. Clinton had no idea themselves about this distinction. Honestly, they claim that she made such a mistake yet most wouldn't be able to locate Pakistan on a map and probably almost all had no idea elections were coming up at all had it not been for the assassination all over the news.

    January 2, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. Theresa VOTE IOWA

    Dear Iowa Republicans, Independents and Democrats:

    May I strongly suggest that those of you who do NOT want Hillary elected for president please attend your Iowa caucus tomorrow night and vote your heart.

    Republicans can change back to their party after voting in the democratic caucus. There are folks doing that just to stop Hillary from winning Iowa where she'd get one huge bounce.

    Do you know that 1 vote in Iowa counts 20 times what my vote will count for.

    My hope and prayer is for Obama to be our next president.

    Thank you.

    January 2, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  16. fly

    We have no viable candidates, we are going to lose in 2008. None of our frontrunners are capable of running the country or winning the war. These people will come after us if we don't take them out first.

    January 2, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  17. David, Dallas Tx

    Come on, folks. This is a very minor mistake, compared to invading Iraq on false pretenses.

    Maybe it's just me, but if I were running for president, I'd at least familiarize myself with the basic facts surrounding our key ally on the war on terror. Even Bush knows Musharraf was already elected president, and I can't see voting for a Democratic candidate who knows even less about foreign affairs than Bush.

    January 2, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  18. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Thank you non-sheep who see right through this "Clinton speak".

    Regardless of her gaffe that she repeated, take into account the LIE that her campaign puts out as the typical "what she really meant was..." when in the context of her repeated statements shows no TRUTH to their spin.

    A particular party was never even close to being mentioned, he personally was mentioned.

    She can never admit a mistake and the media will blow this over, but when Huckabee did the same he was brutally HAMMERED by ALL.

    The smartest woman in the world, who has the most experience in foreign policy?

    You sheep can not be serious, Biden, Richardson and Dodd forgot more than "she" will ever know.

    No more Bush's or Clinton's.

    January 2, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  19. amanda

    Ron Paul understands foreign policy far better than Hillary. I would like to see the two of them go at it...Ron Paul Revolution!

    January 2, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. Jack

    The fact that some don't care if Hillary knows where Pakistan is, scares me as much as the fact that Hillary doesn't understand the international situation. That is a primary responsibility of the President. I thinks all of the candidates should be required to take a public oral test on such topics as the "vital intersts" of the US, the official positions of foreign governments and the history of events which shape them.

    January 2, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. Monte Brown, New York, NY

    Let’s cut to the chase and get down to the heart of the matter. Americans must show the world that fear tactics will not work anymore. The people who killed Benazir Bhutto are from an ideology that does not believe a woman should have power because she is a woman. Americans need not have this fear at all. The terrorists cannot beat us. The bottom line is America has given Pakistan 10 billion dollars and the Pakistani government couldn’t even protect a Prime Minister, who was elected twice, because she is a woman. We can beat around the bush and make up stuff all we want, but the facts are clear as day. Benazir Bhutto was assassinated because she is a woman. The Bush Administration didn’t want to protect her. They were just using Bhutto as a pawn because the Bush Administration didn’t get what they wanted from Musharaf for the 10 billion they gave him.

    If we continue to deny the fact that there are places in the world where woman have no rights, we will never solve the problem. What kind of change are we looking for? A woman as leader of the free world will bring forth change automatically. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate that can bring forth the change we need in the United States and she, being elected as leader of the free world, will make the haters of the world think twice about their actions and policies towards women.

    The women who do not support Hillary in a time where they have the power to change the world might want to check their necks for Adams apples. I, personally, did not consider gender when picking my candidate, but as a liberal who believes in human rights for all, in the back of my mind I do consider woman’s rights. Now, here we have a woman who is the most qualified person to lead this nation and who is not afraid to take on the right wing zealots and the religious fanatics head on.

    Barack Obama will not change anything because he wants to negotiate with leaders who inherently hate Americans. You can’t get water from a rock. The terrorist and their propagandists will NEVER respect Americans, and our words will go in one ear and out the other. Kucinich and the rest of the Democrats are confused and they know very well that Hillary is the only candidate that will make great achievements in foreign policy.

    January 2, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  22. L Parsons

    I do not understand Pakistan, and really have little interest in doing so. However, this seems to be a prerequisitie for a presidential candidate in today's world.

    I typically vote Republican, but I could easily see myself supporting Mr, Biden if he was the Democratic candidate. Besides being the most qualified and experieinced, he seems to be closer to the middle than other candidates on both sides (less polarizing).

    We need to get back to being a single country, with a common purpose.

    January 2, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  23. pam Eugene OR

    This would not be such a big deal IF Hillary did not lie about her resume. She touts that she is ready from day one and is the most informed candidate on every issue. She put her foot in it again with her own big mouth. If she could just be who she really is and try some honesty and would most likely vote for her. She still has time before Oregon votes.

    January 2, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  24. Abbybwood

    Call me cynical, but I think Hillary Clinton has put herself out there to be the Neocon's sacrificial lamb.

    The only candidate who won't go along with their agenda is Ron Paul, which is why I think more and more Americans are supporting him.


    I'm sure she didn't have a clue as to the particulars on the up-coming election in Pakistan (which will probably be postponed until February?)

    If she is nominated as the Democratic nominee she will be toasted by ANY Republican. Even if Nader runs as a Green (and he said that if Edwards isn't the nominee for the Democrats he WILL RUN), and Bloomberg runs as an Independent, Hillary would STILL lose for one reason and one reason only: She is detested by Democrats, Republicans Independents and Greens.

    She is a militaristic hawk to the max, has little to show for true bravery, judgment skills or leadership. Look how she fell for the Iraq War Resolution, The Patriot Act and every other way Bush has found to shred the Constitution both he and she swore to defend against ALL enemies both foreign and domestic:


    After 40 years of being a Democrat and never missing an election I just switched my registration to Republican just so I can vote for Ron Paul on the issue of protecting and defending the Constitution.

    I guess all those years of standing in school with my hand over my heart and swearing allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, with LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL made quite an impression on me.

    It obviously left little impression on the majority of the current crop of candidates running for President....except Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich.

    January 2, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. larry buchas, new britain, ct

    Just another example pointing out why it's time for real change.

    I would respect these leaders to ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR MISTAKES, not spin it. We should have learned from 7 years of George of the Jungle.

    I think Biden & Dodd have increased their chances in receiving a cabinet post, if not VP.

    So much for "experience to hit the job running the 1st day of the job."

    January 2, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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