Biden: ‘There’s Plenty Of Time’ For Another Campaign
NEW YORK (AP) _ Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. came to New York on Saturday to thank the people who helped raise money for his aborted bid for the White House and to say it may not be his last.
The Delaware Democrat, who dropped out of the race last week after questions arose about plagiarism and misstatements about his academic recrd, said he wouldn’t rule out another run at some future time.
″I’ll be back,″ he said. ″There’s plenty of time.″
More than 100 well-heeled supporters gathered at a private party at a fashionable restaurant. The Biden campaign had raised more than $3.7 million.
Biden said he told his backers: ″I feel badly for them. They put a lot of work into this.″
Speaking to a crowd of onlookers who had gathered to watch him give a news conference, Biden said that ironically, quitting the race had given instant name recognition.
″Three weeks ago when I walked down the streets of New York nobody knew who Joe Biden was,″ the senator told onlookers after a news conference. ″Now everybody knows who I am. It’s a hell of a way to get known, I’ll tell you.″
″It doesn’t matter how you get known,″ yelled Sharon Diaz of Clinton, Mass.
Many of those attending the party for supporters expressed regret that Biden had withdrawn.
″I just think he’s foolish to drop out,″ said Patrick Shallis, who works for a Wall Street investment bank he said helped raise ″millions″ for Biden. ″So what’s the big deal? He cheated on his college exam?″
Biden, 44, withdrew from the campaign last Wednesday after a week in which he admitted that he committed plagiarism in law school, made exaggerated claims of his academic record, and was criticized for lifting sections of other politicians’ speeches without attribution. ″I think it’s terrible. The public did him wrong,″ said supporter Janet Finkelstein.
Many of the fund-raisers said Biden should run again.
″We hope to try again,″ said Dr. Donald B. Feinsod. Feinsod said he had made the maximum personal contribution allowed by law - $1,000 - and had persuaded others to raise money. ″I think it’s a mistake for the country. He was forced out because the press is delving too deeply into certain errors that we all make in the past.″
Biden was the second Democrat to withdraw from the campaign after questions arose about their character. Former Sen. Gary Hart of Colorado ended his campaign in May following questions about his relationship with Miami model Donna Rice.