He maintained that the United States needs a leader with experience and cites President Bush as evidence. "We elected a president with limited ability and experience in these areas, and we paid an awful price for that," he told reporters before his speech in San Francisco.
At Google, where Democratic and Republican candidates alike have come to court the Internet moguls, Dodd pushed the company to take a strong stand for free expression and use its leverage with China.
Last year, Google established the Google.cn search engine in China. Unlike Google.com, it limits searches for certain words. When Chinese users search the site for a subject that has been censored, they get a disclosure notice saying the information is not available because of local laws.
Adam Kovecavich, a spokesman for Google, said the company wrestled with the question but ultimately decided that working with the Chinese government was the best course.
"This is one of the most difficult issues we face as a company," he said. "When it comes to operating in other countries, we prefer engagement over estrangement and making available as much information as possible."
Dodd, in his speech at the Googleplex, argued that the company should threaten to withdraw from China entirely if it is not allowed to provide uncensored searches.
He called on Google to "expand free expression, reject business with repressive states, and protect users in those countries."
"That is how the Internet can be part of something greater than ourselves," he said, "and spread democratic principles around the world."