After a disappointing fourth place finish in the Iowa Caucuses and with poll numbers indicating he is struggling in the race for the New Hampshire Primary, former Vice President Joe Biden used an ABC News debate on Friday night to lower expectations for how he will do in this second step of the race for the White House.
"This is a long race," Biden said, answering the first question of the debate about his Iowa results, indicating he did not expect to be close to the winner's circle on Tuesday night.
"I'll probably take a hit here," Biden said, as he vowed to stay in the race no matter the results.
"I've always viewed the first four encounters - two primaries and two caucuses - as the starting point," Biden told the ABC moderators, referring to Nevada and South Carolina, which are the next two states after New Hampshire.
Biden has done limited campaigning in the Granite State this week, as a Saturday get out the vote rally scheduled in Manchester will be his first campaign trail appearance since Wednesday.
In the ABC News debate on Friday, Biden was much more energized at times than previous debates, as he chastised Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, and again made the case that he is ready to walk into the Oval Office and get to work right away.
Biden also faced some jabs, like one from Buttigieg, who tried to turn Biden's experience against him.
"I freely admit that if you're looking for the person with the most years of Washington establishment experience under their belt, you've got your candidate, and of course it's not me," the Indiana mayor said.
Biden defended his record as a Senator, and Vice President under President Barack Obama.
"The politics of the past I think were not all that bad," Biden said at one one point in the ABC debate. "I don't know what about the past about Barack Obama and Joe Biden was so bad."
Biden was clearly prepared for some of his debate lines, as at one point he chastised President Trump for giving a medal of honor to conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, but forcing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman out of his post on the National Security Council, after Vindman testified in the House impeachment investigation against the President.
"The President thinks he has free rein right now," Biden said.
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