Sen. Chris Dodd speaks during a forum on the campus of Boston College, in Boston in this April 23, 2007 file photo. Democratic presidential contenders on Capitol Hill will cast a critical vote on the Iraq war this week, when lawmakers decide on a $120 billion bill to keep military operations afloat through September. ——— AP File Photo / Steven Senne
PORTSMOUTH — Presidential candidate Christopher Dodd said he hopes to walk away from the June 3 Democratic candidates debate having shown people he is capable and ready to lead the country.
"He has both the career experience and judgment to recognize and deal with the issues our country faces," said Dodd campaign spokesman Bryan DeAngelis. "He welcomes the debate as an opportunity to show those presidential qualities."
The Connecticut senator will be joined by fellow candidates Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama, Gov. Bill Richardson, Sen. Joseph Biden, Congressman Dennis Kucinich and former Sens. John Edwards and Mike Gravel.
The debate, which is sponsored by CNN, WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader, is the first to be held in the Granite State.
DeAngelis said Dodd has been a leader in the discussions over the Iraq war and global warming, and he will continue to lead during the debate.
"Heís committed to finding a responsible end to the war," said DeAngelis. "And he has one of the boldest energy plans out there."
The 30-year Capitol Hill veteranís energy plan has been praised by former Vice President Al Gore, Sen. John Kerry and former Sen. Bill Bradley.
The plan, which he admits is aggressive, includes a corporate carbon tax, increase in fuel economy standards in automobiles to 50 miles per gallon, and a requirement for all government vehicles to be hybrids or fuel-efficient models — all leading to an 80 percent reduction of greenhouse gases produced by the United States by 2050.
"Sticking with an internal combustion engine and relying on gas makes no sense whatsoever," Dodd told the Herald in a recent interview. "Instead of desperately trying to hold on to jobs that are harder and harder to hold on to, why not be talking about expanding into new areas of technology?"
Dodd will also visit the first-in-the-nation primary state this weekend. He is scheduled to attend house parties in Laconia, Barrington and Portsmouth. The Portsmouth party, hosted by Michael King and JoAnn Actis-Grande, will be at 2 p.m. at 240 Willard Ave.