Edwards campaigned in Iowa on Sunday.
TIPTON, Iowa (CNN) - Responding to questions Sunday on why he agreed to pledge to skip states that are disobeying party rules by moving their primaries up, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said this election "should be based on substance, real ideas and who can actually change the country and who has the personal characteristics to be president. [It is] not a fundraising contest."
On Friday, the four states allowed by the DNC to hold their nominating contests before February 5, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina, asked the Democratic field to sign a pledge not to campaign or compete in Florida if it violates party rules.
At a stop in Tipton, Iowa Edwards continued, "Every candidate now will have to come to Iowa and do what I did today and what I've done hundreds of times before, which is stand in front of an audience and answer their questions–in many cases hard tough questions... If you're not ready to answer questions in Iowa, you're not ready to be president of the United States."
Obama, Clinton and Edwards all said Saturday they would sign the pledge.
They joined Senators Joe Biden of Delaware, Chris Dodd of Connecticut, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson–all of whom signed on Friday.
- CNN's Chris Welch and Jamie Crawford