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Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Presidential candidate makes veiled jab at others during speech

Dodd addresses the Building and Construction Trades Union Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- While the other Democratic presidential candidates speaking to a construction workers' union Wednesday focused on health care and other union issues, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, made veiled jabs at his opponents.

The five-term senator told the audience that Americans could not afford to have a president with no experience. "At times like these, I think we need an American president who is ready to lead from day one," said Dodd, "who has shown that he not only knows how to make tough fights but he can also end them. And after six years of this administration, the last thing we need is four years of on the job training."

Dodd joined seven candidates -- including Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, and Barack Obama, D-Illinois -- at a presidential forum hosted by the Building and Construction Trades Legislative Conference.

Later, Sen. Obama, who was elected to his first term in 2004, addressed the same group less than an hour later and said, "I've been told that I haven't been in Washington that long. And as a consequence, although I can make a good speech and I can inspire folks, that I need a little more seasoning before I run for president. People talk about needing more experience. Well let me tell you something. The one thing that I know is that I've been in Washington long enough to know that Washington needs to change." (Watch video: Dodd and Obama at presidential forum)

In a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, Sen. Barack Obama ranks second among Democrats as their choice for the 2008 Presidential nominee, while Sen. Dodd polls at less than 1%.

-- CNN's Xuan Thai and Billy Tucker
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