VP Biden on Sen. Dodd's Re-election Battle -- "Chris is getting the living hell beat out of him, the living bejesus beat out of him"

ABC News' Karen Travers and David Chalian report:

The always-loquacious Vice President Biden today gave an assessment of his good friend Chris Dodd's Senate race in Connecticut – and he didn't mince words.

"Chris is getting the living hell beat out of him, the living bejesus beat out of him," Biden said at a fundraiser Hartford, Conn. "Why? Because he's being a leader."

"This is going to be a hell of a race and it's an uphill race,'' Biden said, "but Chris Dodd will prevail.''

Sen. Dodd is one of the most endangered Democrats in America. The veteran Senator hails from a very Democratic state, but has been fighting terrible poll numbers and unable to gain traction all year long after his failed presidential bid (during which he moved his family to Iowa) and his involvement in the Friends of Angelo Countrywide mortgage controversy.

Many Democrats in Washington and Connecticut are growing concerned that the race may be unwinnable for him. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is potentially waiting in the wings to help the Democrats hang on to this seat should Sen. Dodd decide to step down and seek other employment.

Republicans currently see the Dodd seat as a prime pickup opportunity.

Biden was effusive in his praise today for Dodd, calling him "the single most gifted legislator in Congress, now that Teddy Kennedy's gone."

Dodd wasn't there to hear the compliments or the stark assessment of his re-election campaign. The Connecticut senator stayed in Washington to handle Senate business. His wife, Jackie Clegg Dodd, attended in his place.

Biden credited Dodd with having "the guts" to stand up to the banking industry and for his work as a leader on health care reform in the Senate.

"Chris Dodd is the first United States senator that has simultaneously chaired two major committees in a moment of genuine national crisis,'' Biden said. And had he got either of those jobs wrong, the consequences for America would be dire. That is not hyperbole, that is a fact."

This is Biden's second campaign appearance in the Constitution state for Dodd since October. About 175 people paid $500 each to attend the fundraising luncheon.

- Karen Travers and David Chalian

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