September 27th, 2007
02:45 PM ET
11 years ago

Edwards defends wife

Edwards said he embraces his "wife speaking her mind."

ONBOARD THE CNN ELECTION EXPRESS, New Hampshire (CNN) – Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards on Thursday vigorously defended his wife, who has come under fire for her sharp criticisms of one of his chief rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Edwards dismissed speculation that Elizabeth Edward’s high profile role in the campaign is hurting his candidacy, during a wide ranging interview with CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

“First of all, I embrace my wife speaking her mind,” Edwards said. “She is a strong woman, got her own opinions. She doesn’t and should not ask me whether she can express her opinion.”

He added, “Does she say some things that are different than what I say? Yeah, of course. We are two different people. We are not the same person. There is nothing unexpected about that. I hope she’ll keep speaking her mind.”

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Filed under: Elizabeth Edwards • John Edwards
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. RT, Dallas, TX

    The problem is that John sends Elizabeth out to make all the attacks he is afraid to make himself.

    It's like she is his attack dog.

    September 27, 2007 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. James, Phoenix AZ

    We all know she is a strong woman, John. We just don't think you're a strong man or strong candidate.

    September 27, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. slimegreen

    So now we are attacking one strong willed women with her own opinions while embracing another with similar qualifications, isn't it ironic..

    September 27, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Kay, Las Vegas, NV

    Of course you're two different people, dummy...but, while you're the one running for office, she's the running her mouth! She doesn't need to ask you if she can speak, but she does need to ask herself if the public wants to listen! She won't like the answer...

    September 27, 2007 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Ron, TX

    Her biggest critics are Hillary Clinton supporters. Anyone see the irony there? "Shut your mouth woman! Let your husband do the talking! Gooo Hillary!"

    September 27, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. B. Davis

    I'd vote for Elizabeth Edwards for President
    in a red hot minute if I could.
    She talks her talk and walks her walk.
    Hillary and Bill speak their minds...[which
    are not melded]....and Elizabeth and John
    should be equally entitled to speak theirs.

    September 27, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  7. Aidyn, NY

    Elizabeth Edwards just needs to stop talking....I am really starting to dislike her.

    September 27, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. RAS Maryville TN

    Sorry Kay but what this country needs is more straight talk, not what's politicaly correct. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Keep it up Elizabeth...

    September 27, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    Headline: Edwards defends wife

    Edwards was quoted: "My wife knows when to keep his mouth shut, too, or I'll backhand him across his pretty little face. He knows I wear the pants around here."

    September 27, 2007 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Robert Nicholson, Richmond, VA

    Both Elizabeth AND John Edwards are making some very valid points about the weakness of Sen. Clinton as a candidate. The Clintons and their supporters seem to be overly sensitive to criticism. John Edwards may very well be the strongest Democratic candidate.

    September 27, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Maurice, Washington, DC

    Well put Kay from Las Vegas. And to you Slimegreen, there is nothing ironic about people attacking Elizabeth Edwards who is a strong willed woman with her own opinions while embracing Hillary Clinton with similar qualifications. Do you know why? Hillary is running for President. She is a candidate. She is fair game to any other candidate. If Elizabeth was a candidate no one will question her when she takes such cheap jabs at Hillary but Elizabeth Edwards is not a presidential candidate. She is the spouse to one.

    Elizabeth please be quiet before your husband's ship finally sinks. It's almost there...

    September 27, 2007 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. Connie, Tn.

    Good for him. It sure is a departure from the current first lady who only speaks when her husband and in-laws tell her to.

    September 27, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  13. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Maurice, you miss the point here, many of the Clintonista's love Hillary and have ALWAYS loved Hillary for her speaking out in the 1990's as she is "a strong woman who speaks her mind".

    The non-Clinton sheep on this site of which many are Democrats are sick and tired of hearing these same people who held Shrillary in such high esteem for speaking her mind, now tell Liz Edwards to "shut up".

    When one did it, it was fine, but now someone has the UTTER GALL to be speaking ill of the QUEEN, and she needs to "be quiet or shut up".

    Sorry sheep, I know that you or Hill can't use the tried and true "right-wing conpiracy" to attempt to silence her, but telling her to shut up speaks volumes about all of you.

    September 27, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  14. JD, Tallahassee, FL

    Hillary will say whatever seems to be politically correct on any given day. She blows with the wind. She has been literally all over the map on the Iraq war. Does anyone have a clue about what she will really do. We need people to speak up like Elizabeth. It makes no difference whether she is a candidate or not. John Edwards is the strongest candidate in this field and would be getting a lot more attention if it were not for the media's fascination with the controversy of having a woman and a black as candidates for president at the same time.

    September 27, 2007 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Ron in Texas, I'm a republican and I'm sick of Mrs Edwards. She isn't running for president. Her husband is. She's a strong willed person but she comes across as a shrill shrew of a woman. She is not someone I would want representing my country as First Lady.

    I don't mind her being an active participant in his campaign but her constant sniping is a real turn off for many voters, not just Hillary supporters.

    September 27, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. robert, Cleveland, OH

    Well, Hilary and John are candidates. Elizabeth is not. And while she can exercise her right for free speech, it is clear that whatever she says is associated with her husband's campaign. If she doesn't realize it – too bad. And imagine if Edwards becomes president – is she going to open her mouth whenever she wants again? Then the whole world will associate her words with US policy. Think about it before voting – first lady (or frst laddie) is a job and a tough one.

    September 27, 2007 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Tim Spence, Phoenix, AZ

    I am really starting to dislike both of the Edwards. He is having her do all the dirty talk about other candidates. He seems very weak to me. I saw them on Jay Leno, and it was the same. She did all the negative talk. John couldn't get a word in.

    September 27, 2007 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. Michelle, NV

    Connie, TN:

    I'm sorry, I think I must have missed a portion of the article that spoke of the First Lady, Laura Bush. Can you help me locate where there is even one reference to her?? Why do people like you insist on taking any topic and throwing a Bush family insult into it? Oh, I know, because you have no better defense for this woman's childish behavior, or your own for that matter...

    September 27, 2007 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. Dee, Columbus, Nebraska

    I can appreciate Elizabeth Edwards speaking her mind on the issues. However her delivery is distracting, and at times overshadows her husbands reactions and comments. Liz needs to tone it down a bit so we can hear her husband, too.

    September 27, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. John Lawlar Houston,Tx

    To dismiss the criticism coming from the public about Mrs. Edwards opinionated voice shows a lack of respect for what the public thinks. This is exactly why Bush has such a poor public rating: not being in touch with his constituates. Mrs. Edwards constantly crosses the line of civality and fails to offer solutions. It takes no talent to sit back and cricise in the belief that her negative rhetoric will lower the rating of their rivals. JL

    September 27, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Lynn Ensley

    Elizabeth, Pleeeeaaasssee park your inappropriate mouth on the nearest sideline. Your husband will have a long uphill battle to even be on this ticket. The very firstrule in politics, you never attack your own party. You and Ralphy the idiot might very well give us another George idiot. Chill lady chill for the sake of your country. Hillary will be our next president, believe it, I do.

    September 27, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    What would be unexpected is if she say nothing but nice things about Hillary. She is your wife for 'God sake'.

    September 27, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. Jane T., Topeka, KS

    I think by any of the democratic candidates who are 2nd or 3rd in polls have a tendency to criticize the front runner. Though each and every one of them are well qualified than their republican ones, by whining amongst themselves they look weak. And chances of someone getting even VP nomination will get dim. So, the spouses should shut up and let their husbands do the talking on policy issues.

    September 27, 2007 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. bukky, Baltimore, MD

    This goes to show the Sexism that still exists in this country.

    The reason Hillary is so disliked is because she is an intelligent and outspoken woman. She was the first 1st Lady that had no desire to emulate Jackie O. Eleanor Rooservelt was another strong 1st Lady and she took heat for it then and people are still cracking joke about it now.

    This country does not like people that dont "stay in their place" apparently a womans place is still in the kitchen.

    If you don't want to hear the woman talk, change the channel or hit the mute button. Deal with it people

    September 27, 2007 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. Maria, Houston

    ...than how about " the spouse" Bill Clinton? Shouldn't he keep quiet, too?

    What a bunch of nonsense. Some of you people are so brainwashed when it comes to Clintons, that your reasoning is seriously impaired. Just be careful when driving without supervision.

    September 27, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
1 2