Obama Reaction to Bhutto Assassination

From CBS News National Correspondent Dean Reynolds, who spoke to Barack Obama this morning:

DES MOINES, IOWA -- Barack Obama reacted to the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benizir Bhutto this morning.

"It's a tragic situation. My heart goes out to the families. But it's an indication that we are in a dangerous world right now that we have to apply good judgment in our foreign policy," said Obama.

"We've been distracted by Iraq. We have not been paying attention to Pakistan for several years and as a consequence we have had a subversion of democracy at the same time we have ignored or at least not dealt with the growing threat of Islamic militants in Pakistan. If anything, Iraq has helped to spur some of the militancy in Pakistan. Now moving forward we have to send a message that we stand strong with the Pakistani people in moving the democratic process forward but we have to continue to press, to deal with this on going chaotic situation with the militants in Pakistan."

When asked how he would react to this situation if he were president today, Obama said, "I think it's too early for us to know exactly what the situation is. Obviously we have to figure out who will take responsibility for the assassination."

"I think one of the things that I would immediately do is to contact not only Musharraf but those in the military to determine how the security and the safety of nuclear weapons are being dealt with. That is something that obviously has to be the number one priority during a period where there may be instability and we have to make sure that that is being dealt with."

  • Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.