Democrats take shots at Bush, not each other

Eight Democratic White House hopefuls Thursday evening participated in an unusually early presidential debate. While they uniformly criticized President Bush for his handling of the war in Iraq, the candidates largely declined to take shots at each other.

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Only underdog candidates Rep. Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) and former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska) took swipes at the more visible contenders.

The answer to the final question of the evening, directed at Sen. Joseph Biden (Del.), was symptomatic of the tone of the debate. Biden was asked if there was a winner on the stage.    

“Absolutely, yes, there’s a winner,” Biden said. “Taking myself out, I’m looking at a bunch of winners right here, number one. And whoever wishes for Hillary is making a big mistake on the Republican side.”