Biden Says He Wants To Hear More From Alito

From WMUR, covering Senator Biden’s recent visit to New Hampshire:

Sen. Joseph Biden said he’s not sure if he’d vote to confirm Samuel Alito, President George W. Bush’s latest Supreme Court nominee, but he predicted that Alito’s Senate committee hearing would be different from John Roberts’.

“It would be totally disingenuous now for my Republican friends on the committee to say, like they did with Roberts, ‘Don’t answer the questions, it will compromise you,’” the Democratic senator said Tuesday night following a fundraiser to re-elect Manchester Mayor Robert Baines.

When asked if he’d vote to confirm Alito, Biden, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said, “I don’t know. … I will vote against Alito if he doesn’t answer the questions.”

Biden, of Delaware, said he agrees it is inappropriate to ask how a judicial nominee would vote on specific cases, but he added that “one of the things I hope we finally ended is the fiction that the nominees are not required to let the American people know how they view the Constitution and what methodology they will use.”

Biden, who said in June that he intends to seek the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 — but would determine this year whether he can win — was coy about whether he has made up his mind and told the New Hampshire Building Trades Council, “I’m here for the mayor.”

The senator said he has “been trying to figure out whether there’s anybody in America but me who thinks that I should run for president.”

Biden’s appearance was his first visit to the early primary state this year, but he is no stranger to New Hampshire. He crisscrossed New Hampshire in 1988 while running for president and has visited the state since then.

Biden said he would support keeping the state in the lead of early presidential primary states.

Moving the New Hampshire primary from the leadoff spot “would be a big mistake,” he said.

In his address, Biden said Democrats have lost touch with middle-class voters.

“We’ve become disconnected from where we grew up. We used to get those middle-class votes,” he said, but he also blamed Republicans because “they’ve convinced the American people, enough of them, that we are out of touch, that we don’t believe in God, that we only care about gays and we don’t have any connection with ordinary folks.” And to cheers, he added, “And I want to tell you I’m sick and tired of it.”

Stan Garrity, 52, a Manchester firefighter, said of Biden, “he’s not quite from the South and he’s not quite from the North,” but “he presents himself very well. He’s well spoken. I hope to heck he runs for president.”

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