Biden takes to Iowa back roads to shore up flagging rural support

Biden takes to Iowa back roads to shore up flagging rural support

Biden takes to Iowa back roads to shore up flagging rural support

Joe Biden was mocked this weekend after launching a campaign slogan - "no malarkey" - that did little to dispel fears the front-runner in the race for the Democrat presidential nomination is behind the times.

Jill Biden had been speaking to a crowd and gesturing with her hands when her husband leaned forward and nibbled on the tip of her index finger. But as the former vice-president's support dips in Iowa, his campaign has scheduled an eight-day blitz across 18 counties in an attempt to secure a win in the first state to caucus.

"Well, first of all, he's got the loyalty in voting right now because he's got 100 percent name recognition [inaudible] former Vice President". In a vice-presidential debate in 2012, in response to Paul Ryan's critique over the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack, Biden said, "With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey".

Biden is, of course, no unusual to making gaffes on the campaign trail. But his advisers also insist he has wide support and remains well-positioned to recover any lost ground. Sidestepping his philosophical tussle with progressive Sens.

Progressive rivals Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., are also in the running to win Iowa during the caucus on February 3.

He added an emphasis on small town and rural America, an electoral swathe where Democrats have struggled in recent elections, but that could prove critical.

"We're going to touch on what we think is a forgotten part of this campaign", Biden said, bemoaning the effects of Trump's tariffs on Iowa farmers and highlighting his own rural policy plans shaped with the help of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.

Last week he notched a victory, winning the endorsement of a former Iowa governor.

Jill Biden had been speaking to a crowd and using her hands to gesture, barely missing her husband's face at several points.

Public opinion polls show Biden's one-time double-digit lead in Iowa has disappeared, and he is now fighting U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and a fast-rising Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana. The senators have animated the party's left flank, while Mr Buttigieg joins Mr Biden in the Democrats' centre-left wing but is calling for generational change.

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