Bill Bradley told a radio host today that he does not plan to attack Vice President Gore for his participation in the Democratic fund-raising practices in 1996 that led to several investigations.

"I think that you have to decide how you're going to run your campaign," Bradley said. "I think it's more important to give something for people to vote for than to vote against."

The host, Dan Pierce of WGIR-AM, said he was conservative and Republican and said he was surprised Bradley didn't want to "wade in there and start slashing" on the fund-raising scandals.

"I think those are legitimate issues you raise," Bradley said. "But the question is what you're going to do with your time on the stump every day."

During the radio interview, Bradley said he still had hope for a better showing in New Hampshire than in Iowa. "I think that the key is that New Hampshire is a state that values independent thinking," he said. "There are a lot of people that are going to be making their judgments not based on anything else that happened, other than what they hear the candidates say," Bradley said.

He began his day at the Greater Manchester YMCA, where he a class of 3-to-6 year-olds quizzed him on whether he was wearing boots (no), whether he liked the sun (yes) and whether he liked the ocean (yes, too).

After his morning appearances, Bradley returned to his hotel to continue preparing for tonight's debate with Vice President Gore -- their last before New Hampshire's Feb. 1 primary.

Also today, Bradley picked up the endorsement of James Tobin a Pulitzer prize winning economist at Yale University.

The vice president, too, had a light day planned so that he could spend time with a handful of advisers at his hotel mapping debate strategy.

He took one break to take some credit for the 1996 welfare reform legislation at a noontime appearance at the Electropac company. Aides said the visit was timed to coincide with expected news from the White House about President Clinton's proposed budget for new welfare-to-work investments.