Elizabeth Edwards stepped up her attack on Clinton's health care record Monday.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Elizabeth Edwards, the outspoken wife of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, stepped up her attacks over rival Hillary Clinton's record on health care Monday, alleging the New York Democrat abandoned her effort in the 1990’s to save "political capital."
In an interview with the New York Daily News, Mrs. Edwards said Clinton's first attempt at health care reform "failed when the Clinton administration….said, 'We're not going to use any more political capital on this, on the fight for universal health care.' And that's an important part that Sen. Clinton leaves out."
"The stick-to-it-iveness, the determination to get it done when there was opposition both from the Republicans and from the entrenched insurance interests, that part wasn't there," Mrs. Edwards added.
Edwards further alleged, as she did in an interview with CNN last week, that Clinton and her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, abandoned the health care fight in order to focus on passing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) through Congress.
John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, is heavily courting labor unions, many of which continue to adamantly oppose NAFTA.
While her husband often refuses to criticize his opponents directly, Mrs. Edwards has assumed an increasingly vocal role in the campaign. In the interview with CNN last week, she suggested Clinton had copied the Edwards health care proposal released months earlier.
"I don't call it Sen. Clinton's health care plan," she said last week. "I call it John Edwards' health care plan as delivered by Hillary Clinton. The truth is that anyone who tries to describe Hillary's health care plan will run through every material part of John's health care plan."
In the interview with CNN, Mrs. Edwards also said of Clinton's earlier attempt at health care, "I am glad she did that health care plan. I was impressed with her when she did it. But did she learn something from it? I can't see what she's learned."
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney