Sen. Dodd touts his experience
By Chris Outcalt and Shir Haberman
PORTSMOUTH -- In what seemed like a shot at fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd said on Thursday the nation cannot endure six to eight years of on-the-job training.
"I think people do care about experience," said Dodd during a gathering outside the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
He reiterated that statement later in the day at a meet-and-greet at Redhook Ale Brewery at Pease International Tradeport.
"We need someone with experience," he said.
Dodd, a 30-year Capitol Hill veteran, visited the Seacoast area for the second time on Thursday since announcing his run for president and said he wouldn't be a stranger.
"New Hampshire will give me a chance," he said. "I'll be back here soon and often."
Before touring the shipyard, the Connecticut senator touted his knowledge of the submarine industry and the importance it plays in national security.
"Those that think this technology has no use are wrong," he said. "We want to see this work expand."
Dodd also cautioned against the growing Chinese submarine fleet. He said by 2014, that nation would have twice as many submarines as the United States.
"The way we're headed, pretty soon we're only going to have 42 subs," said Dodd. "That's not acceptable."
When asked what set his campaign apart from the other Democratic hopefuls, Dodd again stressed his Naval knowledge.
"For one thing, I know about subs," he said. "They don't have a briefing book on that stuff."
At the Redhook event, Dodd went into more detail about what prompted him to get into the race and what his priorities would be if elected president.
It was a question his 5-year-old daughter asked him one day that got him thinking about a run for the presidency, he said.