Thursday, November 29, 2007

Biden draws distinctions with leading rivals

ALLISON --- After some prodding from a supporter, Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, in a rare moment, criticized his leading rivals by name for a lack of experience.

The distinctions he drew didn't approach the vitriol flying between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, or even John Edwards' aggressive criticisms of Clinton.

In fact, he complimented all three candidates before telling a noon crowd of about 30 at the Allison Public Library he's a better candidate than any of the Iowa front-runners.

The Delaware senator has repeatedly said he doesn't feel comfortable criticizing fellow Democrats, but J.R. Ackley, sitting in the front row wearing a Biden T-shirt, all but demanded he go on the offensive.

"I've never seen anyone with your experience or abilities, and yet the big three --- all three of them --- are one-term senators," he said, although Clinton was re-elected to her second term last year. "It's like three witches sitting around arguing about who's ugliest. Why haven't you taken these guys head on."

At first, Biden wasn't quite sure how to respond. He thanked Ackley for the compliment, and said he prefers to run on his record. Then he started with Clinton and her work with the Children's Defense Fund.

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