Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential candidate in the upcoming U.S. election, has questioned how the Republicans can claim to care about the needs of families with disabled children and still oppose embryonic stem cell research.
The Wall Street Journal says his comments are apparently directed at Sarah Palin, his rival on the Republican ticket.
"I hear all this talk about how the Republicans are going to work in dealing with parents who have both...the joy and the difficulty of raising a child who has a developmental disability, who were born with a birth defect," Biden told a rally in Columbia, Mo. this week.
"Well, guess what folks? If you care about it, why don't you support stem-cell research?"
Palin has an infant son with Down syndrome and opposes embryonic stem cell research.
Republican spokesman Ben Porritt accused Biden of "playing politics with this issue."
Stem cell researchers are hoping the November election will see an end to a federal ban on funding for embryonic stem cell research, which they fear has put the U.S. at a disadvantage internationally.