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Globegazette.com - Biden Brings Message to North Iowa

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Location: Mason City, IA


Globegazette.com - Biden Brings Message to North Iowa

By BOB LINK, bob.link@globegazette.com

Throughout his hour-and-a half-talk, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Joe Biden tried to stray from the topic of Iraq. But much of his message focused on the war-torn country and America's future.

"I am the only candidate with a clear plan to end the war, bring the troops home, and that leaves them enough breathing room to work things out," he said.

Biden spoke to about 100 potential supporters late Friday afternoon at the Hanford Inn in Mason City.

"I want to start by saying, ‘Thank God for Iowa,' " he told the group. "There are a lot of attempts to diminish the impact of Iowa."

He said the voters of Iowa and New Hampshire have prevented American elections from "going to the highest bidder."

Telling a story about the national media, Biden said he recently sat down with reporters who asked about the enthusiasm and knowledge of the Iowa voters.

Biden said, "They weren't impressed by us candidates," he said of the national media. "They were impressed by you."

Earlier in the day, Biden released a statement calling for an end to maneuvering for dates of early primaries and caucuses.

Biden said he would sign a pledge to Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and Carolina Democratic parties.

"We intend not only to sign the pledge, but to honor the pledge and to respect their primacy to the process, said Biden for President campaign manager Luis Navarro. "They played by the rules of the Democratic National Committee and we respect those rules."

Biden told supporters candidates have to come to Iowa to complete a job description.

"I think this year, we have to restore America's place in the world and restore our credibility," he said.

"And another challenge will be to invigorate the middle class in this country," he said.

He called Iraq a boulder in the road, preventing America from attending to the business of the nation.

Biden talked about the troops losing lives, the money being spent and his plan to end the war and bring the soldiers home.

When asked about supporting supplemental funding for the war, Biden said his vote has been for the troops.

He said the last round of funding helped redesign Humvees to better absorb the impact of roadside bombs.

"My vote was to protect the troops in place," he said. "I know what the political vote was, that was to vote no — some things are more important than politics."

After campaign stops in Dubuque and Sioux City during the Labor Day weekend, Biden is scheduled to take his eighth trip to Iraq where he will research the situation before hearing important reports before his foreign relations committee later this year.


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