The Democrats discussed concerns over China's threat to the US. "There was a myth when I was growing up in Cleveland that if you dig a hole deep enough, you'll get to China," Rep. Dennis Kucinich D-Ohio said. "We're there. And we need to have a president who understands that." Clinton pointed to the recent Chinese pet food and toy recalls saying that it's not acceptable for Americans to be getting bad products from China.
Most of the candidates agreed that the US should spend less money on the Iraq war and more money on the nation's infrastructure in light of last week's tragic events in Minnesota. "We need to have a better infrastructure in order to protect us," Clinton said.
"These guys, Republicans, have been irresponsible about our infrastructure, our security, and the safety of this country," said Biden who stood out among second tier candidates with his forceful pro-labor rhetoric.
"The war in Iraq is not the only war this president has waged," Biden later remarked. "He has waged a reckless war on labor's house -- the house that built the middle-class and the house that built our neighborhoods."
Biden did not concede a single inch to his opponents on the question of which candidate would be Big Labor's strongest ally as president. "For 34 years, I've walked with you in picket lines. Twenty-five years ago, with Reverend Jackson, he and I walked on picket lines together," Biden said.
"And the fact of the matter is, it's not where you've been the last two years. Where were you the six years you were in the Senate? How many picket lines did you walk on? How many times -- look at our records. Look at our records," he said.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson also participated in the forum which was moderated by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. The AFL-CIO's has yet to decide on an endorsement timetable.