November 3rd, 2007
05:10 PM ET
4 years ago

Edwards campaign: Clinton using gender as 'a shield'

The Edwards campaign said Clinton should not be held to a different standard because of her gender.

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) – One day after former Sen. John Edwards said that Democratic rival Sen. Hillary Clinton should not be held to a different standard because of her gender, the Edwards campaign unleashed a stinging statement that said Clinton is "disingenuously playing the victim card" by bringing up her gender in recent campaign stops and fundraising emails.

Kate Michelman, the former President of NARAL Pro-Choice America and a senior adviser to the Edwards campaign, posted a brief essay about Clinton on Saturday at the liberal group blog OpenLeft.com.

"At one minute the strong woman ready to lead, the next, she's the woman under attack, disingenuously playing the victim card as a means of trying to avoid giving honest, direct answers to legitimate questions," Michelman wrote of Clinton.

On Thursday at Clinton's alma mater, the all-female Wellesley College, the Democratic frontrunner said that "this all-women's college prepared me to compete in the all-boys club of presidential politics." Those comments came after the Clinton campaign accused her rivals of "piling on" during last week's Democratic debate.

Michelman, who endorsed Edwards in January, said that women "know better than to use our gender as a shield when the questions get too hot."

After a campaign event in South Carolina on Friday, Edwards was asked by CNN about Clinton injecting her gender into the presidential dialogue.

"I think that Senator Clinton ought to be held to the same standard that every other presidential candidate is held to," Edwards said. "And that standard is to not engage in double talk. To be straight and honest with people."

– CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John Edwards • South Carolina
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Josaka Dallas TX

    Why aren't Obama and Clinton accusing Edwards of using the Stupid shield. They would be more accurate.

    November 4, 2007 02:45 am at 2:45 am |
  2. Jesse, Burnsville, MN

    Wow, the Hillary campaign really had their supporters hit this blog. You are all pretty sad. Tell me, how does it feel knowing that you are supporting a Republican. As a strong Democrat, you all make me sick.

    November 4, 2007 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  3. Yoslizia New York NY

    A real Candidate would not be giving a hoot what Hillary says or does. They would be stating what they plan to do as President of the United States. Why are you worried about Hillary, Mr. Edwards. If you got the stuff, then why aren't you campaigning and stating what you plan to do as President of USA ? You are funnier than that comedian you didn't want upstaging you.

    November 4, 2007 02:53 am at 2:53 am |
  4. Sue Q. Oakland California

    Thank you John Edwards for being real, truthful and candid for that is exactly what we need in this country, America more now than ever before. Keep up the good work.

    November 4, 2007 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  5. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Seeing the leading male Democratic candidates gang up on Sen. Clinton is having a big impact, I speculate, on a large group of female voters. The twenty-somethings have not had time to reflect on how women are treated in the workplace, but women in their thirties and older have surely noticed that almost all of the senior leadership of the corporation she works for is male. She may believe that she is more competent than the man she works for. She may feel that she should have been given a promotion instead of the guy who golfs with the boss. She may feel excluded from the sports conversations at work. She may be doing a slow burn because her ex-husband is nine years behind in child-support payments but has never missed a payment on his motorcycle.

    Voting for Hillary may be a way she can say, "Screw YOU, morons" to the men in her life and her career who have treated her, in her view at least, badly. A lot of powerful feelings are going to compel a lot of women to vote for one of their own next year. The results should be very interesting.

    November 4, 2007 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  6. Therese, Houston TX

    I used to have a lot of respect for John Edwards. Not anymore. He's coming across as very desparate; like he has not way out so the only solution is to bash Hillary. He's lost the class that I used to think he had and that lost my vote.

    November 4, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  7. Trina Miami, FL

    Edwards is a joke. We are all so sick of hearing him complain about Hillary. He is worse than Obama by far....he needs to get a brain and come up with genuine ideas. That is how he will garner more than 5 percent of the vote. Scum bag.

    November 4, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. Brian, College Park, MD

    Get off your high horses! No one engaged in negative attacks in the debate last week. Unless pointing out clear differences and flip flopping by your opponents count...

    Even aside from her flip flop on the illegal immigrant issue, let's go back to her stance on talking to Iran without preconditions. When Obama said it he was inexperienced to be President. Yet a few weeks later, it was Clinton saying Bush's policy with Iran failed and she would meet with Iran without preconditions.

    Honesty and Integrity...Obama 08!!!

    November 4, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  9. Filed under Sick Of Front Runners

    Between Edwards bashing Clinton, Obama bashing Clinton, and Clinton bashing somebody else, I am voting for someone else. Someone besides these three CNN-gift-wrapped Front Runners. Let the boys and girls fight in their playpen while the rest of us search for a President.

    November 4, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    I voted for former Senator Edwards in 2004, shame on me!

    I read this article, and saw him on the Sunday talk shows. When asked point blank if he thinks Senator Clinton is corrupt, a liar, and unfit to run the country he says "...no absolutely not...", then like the trial lawyer he is he goes on to list 20 ways where she COULD be corrupt.

    As usual it sounds like he wants to have it both ways.

    And Ms. Michelman's endorsement when she is already a senior advisor to his campaign? Laughable.

    It's over John, go home.

    November 4, 2007 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. A DEM

    Edwards is a very wimpy man and would make a weak president as would Kunnich, Gravel, Dodd and Obama.

    November 4, 2007 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  12. John Buloxy Ca

    It would be better if we just gave Shrillary the White House. Why would anybody want to know how tough she is? she needs a thicker skin! if she thought the debate was an attack wait until '08, she is going to get slammed!!!! her "BOO-HOO" Politics didn't even give her an inch. She won't be the democratic nomination, there is no way, she has too many skeletons and not enough experience! unless sleeping with the President gives you the experience and in that case there are others with the experience claim as well.

    November 4, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  13. William A Halifax N.S.

    "I think that Senator Clinton ought to be held to the same standard that every other presidential candidate is held to," Edwards said. "And that standard is to not engage in double talk. To be straight and honest with people."

    And you should practice what you preach Johnny Boy. A bit more of the Macho Male vs. the Momma's Boy personna would be a breath of fresh air where your concerned.

    November 5, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Crawford Meadville, PA

    A. Thomas-

    People like you seemed to be more concerned about a pricey haircut that the millions of dollars and thousands of lives lost in the Bush-Cheney war in Iraq that Hillary Clinton proudly voted for.

    Why is it that Hillary Clinton supporters always talk about polls and petty matters? I never hear Hillary people even mention the war- it's like they are in denial that it is even going on.

    November 5, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. Debi, Philadelphia, Pa

    So the lets play dirty plan is working and Hillary is slipping in the polls. She isn't freefallingl, just slipping, but keep at her boys, maybe you can topple her, but I think not. As for playing the cards that work for you, who is doing this more then a couple of the guys she is running against. Keep kicking her while you think she is down John, it won't help, but get your jollies you pathetic wimp.

    November 5, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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