WMUR TV: Biden Stresses Experience In N.H. Visit

News Article

By:  Joe Biden, Jr.
Date: Feb. 28, 2007
Location: Concord, NH

WMUR TV: Biden Stresses Experience In N.H. Visit

Presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden visited New Hampshire on Wednesday, pushing the message that he has the experience to handle the country's top job.

Biden held the first in a series of town hall meetings with voters. Competing in a primary field crowded with high-profile senators, Biden said that his experience sets him apart from the newer faces.

"It can't be on-the-job training," Biden said.

In the forum at Granite State Independent Living, Biden laid out his agenda, including his plan to pull troops out of Iraq in 2008 and give Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites the space and time to develop a democracy.

"I'm the only one in either party or in the foreign policy community that's laid out a specific plan for how to proceed in Iraq," Biden said.

The Democratic senator from Delaware said that the United States is more isolated than it has ever been, and closing the gap clears the way for domestic issues. His national health care plan builds on current programs but will allow for state competition to create the best solution, he said.

"It will insure everyone under 18. Two, you immediately move for catastrophic health insurance for the 47 million people who don't have health insurance, and three, you underwrite the states' experimentation, like the state of Massachusetts, California and others as they move toward mandatory coverage for everybody," Biden said.

Biden told the crowd he understands the squeeze on the middle class. When asked if he would shift billions of dollars in defense spending for education and other programs, Biden said it's what he has been doing for 10 years.

He said he would also seek expanded Medicare coverage, more stem-cell research and protect the Americans With Disabilities Act.

"He is on message. It's what a lot of people want to hear," voter Mark Race said.

"His experience comes through. He's genuine," voter Sue Fortier said. "He talks about giving specifics, and I'd like to hear a little more."

Biden has been a U.S. senator since 1972 and is considered an expert in foreign policy.