June 28th, 2007
02:03 PM ET
4 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards: Why I called Coulter

Watch Edwards talk about her on-air clash with Ann Coulter.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Elizabeth Edwards brushed off suggestions Thursday that it is a "double standard" to criticize conservative commentator Ann Coulter while using her controversial comments in fundraising solicitations.

John Edwards' presidential campaign has featured conservative commentator Ann Coulter on its Web site to raise campaign cash, just as the important June 30 deadline to collect second quarter campaign contributions quickly approaches.

"We're asking you to reject this kind of politics and this is what we're asking you to embrace - ideas, visions, positive discussion and, frankly, I want people to be engaged in the process," Edwards told CNN's John Roberts on American Morning.

On Tuesday, Edwards called into MSNBC's Hardball, where Ann Coulter was a guest, to directly confront the best-selling author on recent controversial comments about her husband, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

“It debases political dialogue,” Elizabeth Edwards said of the comments in the on-air clash. “It drives people away from the process. We can’t have a debate about issues if you’re using this kind of language.”

When asked why she made the call instead of her husband, Edwards told CNN it wasn't a planned "campaign call."

"I didn't talk to John about calling Ann Coulter," Edwards said. "I got on the phone when I was watching her. I knew to suspect that she was going to say something because she said something the day before, or the day before that, on ABC. So I was listening to see."

Appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America Monday, Coulter 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, next to banner asking supporters for donations to stop “right wing attacks.”

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. joey , hot springs , ar

    ms. coulter is just helping john edwards become the next president of the united states , and put an end to the terrible oppression of the republican regime.

    June 28, 2007 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  2. Donna - Columbia, SC

    Ann Coulter reminds me of a 16 year old. If you watch her on television, she wears her sun glasses, and flops her hair back and forth like "look at me! look at me!" Her comments reflect the same. Thank God Ms. Edwards can get her point across and still remain a class act, something Ann knows nothing about. She seems to get off on making personal attacks on others. I certainly hope she doesn't have children and are exposing them to this truly cruel way of life.

    June 28, 2007 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  3. Mary, Rancho Dominguez,California

    I was taught as an African American that these kinds of attacks come from people that are filled with self hatred and insecurities.
    Sticks and stones theory still apply.
    The world admires Mrs. Edwards and people like Coulter are sad and it shows in her eyes.

    June 28, 2007 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. cb, washington, dc

    i gave edwards money for each of coulter's bat-crazy statements, and i'll continue to do so. i've done the same for other democrats when wingnuts slander them. right-wing hate mongers and the internet make campaign contributions so quick and easy!

    June 28, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. MM, Albany NY

    Hey-
    Wake up..they are both attention grabbers..Coulter wants to sell her book and Elizabeth Edwards is trying to use her legitimate (although extremely calculated) outrage.
    Matt

    June 28, 2007 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Shawnie Cannon, Grants Pass OR

    Some of the most hateful diatribe I've ever heard has come from liberal commentators and hosts talking about conservative politicians. There are offenses on both sides. But bottom line, it is wrong no matter whose mouth it comes out of.

    June 28, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Stephanie Birmingham AL

    I think Ann is very intelligent. She says what liberals say and gets called out on it. A big deal is made of it and she gets a lot of attention. If liberals were held to the same scrutiny as conservatives this wouldn't be such a big deal.

    June 28, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  8. Angie, Lincolnton NC

    Why don't you stick to reporting real news instead of coming to the "rescue" of the latest democratic victim of the big bad conservative commentators. You are not fooling anyone. This is just another channel full of democratic talking points.

    June 28, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  9. Susanne

    I think Ann Coulter was totally out of line with her comment. She is so full of herself. With her sunglasses and swinging her hair back and forth she would be doing better reporting about hollywood than important issues in politics. I just don't get it that Imus was fired for his remark but she still gets to do her stuff . TV would be so much better off without her.

    June 28, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. CJ, Swansea, MA

    To Joey,
    It is preposterous to think that John Edwards has any shot of winning over Obama and Clinton.

    To the rest, she is stating her own opinions just like Bill Maher. Bill made comments about a sitting Vice president, not a washed up for candidate.

    Ms. Edwards seemed like a whinning child that wants people that don't agree with her to be chastised. I hope Ms. Edwards political discord can rise to something meaningful considering she IS a candidates wife. Coulter is just someone like Limbaugh, making money on their own opinions...is that the freedom America is about?

    June 28, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Not a huge fan of Coulter because she is mean spirited, but take that away she could still get her point across.

    Brilliant but a jerk.

    So we are to believe Edwards just happened to have the Hardball phone number handy and just happened to get through?

    June 28, 2007 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Bruce, Leominster, MA

    I'm not a fan of Coulter, but Edwards wants to have her cake and eat it too.
    She complained vigorously about Coulter's attacks, yet John Edwards uses them as a fund-raising opportunity.
    Elizabeth Edwards used Coulter's appearance on Hardball to collect more cash. This is a shameless money grab by the Edwards campaign.

    June 28, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I imagine that any and all of the major presidential contenders do, in fact, have the Hardball number handy- if their press secretary doesn't they should be fired.
    As for Coulter, she is a shrill, classless individual whose commentary is almost as vile and obtuse as she is pathetic.

    June 28, 2007 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Becca, Tampa FL

    Coulter is an INSULT to EVERYONE. Decent Republicans, women, whites, Christians, attorneys, bottle blondes, [add your own group] need to totally disassociate from this disgrace. Since she verbally tore apart vets from Nam days who were wounded in ways other than on the proverbial battlefield, I wonder what her trashmouth would say about our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq who were wounded due to just being there for US in whatever capacity? Let's bring our troops HOME and send AC over there instead. Her hatefulness would probably cause a major line-up of suicide bombers just cuz she's so nasty!

    June 28, 2007 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  15. Steve, Kansas City, MO

    That's BS... the producer of Hardball already stated that Edwards campaign had set up the call way in advance. It was all staged. Besides, I'm not sure how someone who hears the context of Coulter's comments can't give some sort of credence to her viewpoint. Edwards tried to capitalize on it and spin it for her own good. I think it backfired. What a scam. That's why you can't trust a politician or his wife. They tell you one thing and do something else. Who is John Gault?

    June 28, 2007 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  16. Mary, St. Louis, MO

    Saw Elizabeth Edwards on "The Today Show" this morning. Wow. She really impressed me with her class, warmth, kindness and intelligence. The Edwards camp won major points from me thanks to Elizabeth Edward's taking a stand against the ugly, self-loathing Coulter. Coulter alienates independents like myself who like substance in debate, and dislike trashy bleach-blondes who don't change clothes, and aren't intelligent enough to discuss any issues. Get a real job, Mr. Coulter.

    June 28, 2007 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Jonathan Goldstein (Birmingham, AL)

    Ann Coulter shouldn't even attempt to compare her comments to the comments of her good friend Bill Maher. While Maher has a sense of humor, and is in touch with reality, Ms. Coulter is a cold and untalented shock-columnist who panders to the far right. She is a repugnant person with no legitimate or unique ideas, and the fact that she is even given any airtime baffles me.

    June 28, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  18. Providence, RI

    I am not a fan of Coulter, but I believe that Liz Edwards and John Edwards are using this to raise money, which is a shame... and hypocritical. Do not forget his war on poverty and his hair cut for $400.00. It is hypocritical...

    June 28, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. Brendose, Oceanside CA

    Is Ann part of the Prom committee? She sounds like a snobby high school kid who is striving for attention. She is pathetic, I do not see why people even listen to her trash. I'm glad it's helping John Edwards. At least he is trying to bring positive thinking back to America. Ann...take a look at yourself...if you really love America and call yourself a "conservative", then grow up! You are just making the Republican party look worse by your actions. If you want to help your party, then talk positive about them, instead of being so negative about your opponent. You might feel this gives you "empowerment", but essentially you are portrayed as a typical bully: picking on others because you are afraid to face your own faults.

    June 28, 2007 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  20. Cassandra, Huntington, WV

    Ann Coulter is a perfect example of what not to become while Elizabeth Edwards demonstrates beautifully that you can defend yourself and remain gracious and dignified at the same time. Go Elizabeth!!!

    June 28, 2007 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Chris, Orlando

    Stop acting like Ms. Edwards, Ms. Coulter or anyone else in politics does anything other than to help themselves.

    Ask yourself what a President or Congress has really done to enrich your life....they are only in it to enrich themselves.

    June 28, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Joe D Atlanta, Ga

    40,000 comedians out of work and Coulter is stealing Maher's lines........enough already!

    June 28, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Betty Vierra, Aptos, California

    The politics of hate, left unchecked, don't leave any room for taking about the issues that matter. Elizabeth Edwards was absolutley right to call Ann Coulter and call her on her hateful statements. As for using the issue as a fund raiser, it's making lemonade out of the lemon that life has given you. You take something negative, don't let it get you down, and turn it into a positive. That's what leaders need to do.

    June 28, 2007 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Kevin Berwyn, PA

    It is such a double standard. Liberals can say anything, but if a conservative person says the same thing, it's an outrage and lawsuits are filed. Both sides are wrong, but we cannot have one set of standards for liberals and one set for conservatives.

    June 28, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  25. SANDRA MC, LITTLE ROCK ARKANSAS

    I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY ANN COULTER CAN MAKE SUCH HATEFUL COMMENTS AND SIMPLY SAY SHE WAS "JOKING", WHEN THE DIXIE CHICKS HAVE BEEN VILIFIED FOR THE COMMENTS THE MADE IN A INTERVIEW YEARS AGO.

    June 28, 2007 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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