Elizabeth Edwards confronted Coulter, above, Tuesday on a TV show.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Her husband's presidential campaign has used some of conservative commentator Ann Coulter's most controversial statements about him to raise campaign cash, but on Tuesday Elizabeth Edwards directly confronted the best-selling author and asked her to "stop the personal attacks."
"The things she has said over the years, not just about John but about other candidates, lowers the political dialogue at precisely the time we need to raise it," Elizabeth Edwards said in a phone call to MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews as Coulter, a guest on the program, listened.
"It debases political dialogue," Elizabeth Edwards added. "It drives people away from the process. We can't have a debate about issues if you're using this kind of language."
Elizabeth Edwards’ husband, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
Coulter responded that Elizabeth Edwards was asking her to stop speaking completely and suggested it was hypocritical for the Edwards campaign to criticize her comments after promoting them in fundraising solicitations.
"I don't mind you trying to raise money," Coulter said. "I mean it's better this than giving $50,000 speeches to the poor." Coulter was referring to criticism about the former senator’s speaking fees.
Elizabeth Edwards penned a fundraising letter that hit email in-boxes Wednesday morning with a link to a video of her exchange with Coulter.
“Where I am from, when someone does something that displeases you, you politely ask them to stop,” she wrote.
Elizabeth Edwards also asked potential donors to “Please give what you can right now to help raise the dialogue and show that Ann Coulter-style politics will never carry the day.”
The on-air clash came one day after Coulter, appearing on ABC's Good Morning America, joked “If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”
On that program, Coulter was referencing the firestorm following her March comments, in which she referred to the North Carolina Democrat as “a faggot” at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference held in Washington. She claimed that, during the same period of time, liberal television host Bill Maher “was not joking” when he said that “he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack.” According to Coulter, Maher didn’t take the same heat for his comments that she did for hers.
In addition to promoting the latest war of words, Edwards's campaign posted both Coulter's comments in March and earlier this week on their Web site.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney