MANCHESTER, N.H. – After a fourth-place finish in Monday’s Iowa caucuses, Joe Biden quickly downplayed expectations at the start of Friday night’s Democratic presidential nomination debate.
“I took a hit in Iowa and I’m probably going to take a hit here,” the former vice president said at the debate, which was held just four days before New Hampshire holds the first primary in the race for the White House.
A LOT ON THE LINE FOR BIDEN AT FRIDAY NIGHT’S DEBATE SHOWDOWN
Biden’s comments came hours after top aides also seemed to minimize the importance of New Hampshire, highlighting in a statement that “the campaign has had a very clear strategy from the day we got into the race.
“We have articulated that we believe for us the pathway to the nomination runs in particular through Nevada, South Carolina, Super Tuesday, through states that have a more diverse electorate, where Vice President Biden has a tremendous amount of support,” the campaign went on.
“We are very confident that when we get to a more diverse electorate, that we will continue to see traction and that we will continue to be competitive,” they added.
But a senior campaign aide told Fox News, “We’re not writing off New Hampshire, we’re actively competing here in New Hampshire and we’re going to be competitive.”
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The most recent polls released over the past 24 hours indicate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg are in a battle for the lead, with Biden a distant fourth behind Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.