November 5th, 2007
02:00 PM ET
7 years ago

Edwards: Clinton talks differently than she votes

Edwards campaigned in Iowa Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards strongly criticized rival Hillary Clinton Monday over her foreign policy approach, and accused the New York senator of not being up front with primary voters about her plans for Iraq and Iran.

"Sen. Clinton is voting like a hawk in Washington, while talking like a dove in Iowa and New Hampshire," the former North Carolina senator said during a speech at the University of Iowa, according to prepared remarks. "One of her advisors told the New York Times that was because she was shifting from primary mode to general election mode. Well, we only need one mode from our president – tell the truth mode all the time."

Edwards went on to say Clinton has not been clear about how she plans to end the war in Iraq, and took issue with her pledge to leave some troops in the region the carry out combat missions.

"Only in Washington would anybody believe that you can end the war and continue combat," Edwards said. "On a matter as serious as Iraq, we need honesty and real answers-not more double-talk."

Edwards also assailed the Democratic frontrunner for supporting the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that calls for labeling Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, claiming such a move allows the Bush administration to go to war with Iran.

"The war in Iraq isn't even history yet, but the Bush Administration is repeating the march to war with Iran, and they're getting help from people who should know a lot better," he said. "George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the neocon warmongers used 9/11 to start a war with Iraq and now they're trying to use Iraq to start a war with Iran. And we have to stop them."

Responding to the criticisms, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said, "The contrast is clear: While Sen. Clinton has been a leader in the effort to stop the rush to war with Iran and has consistently called for engagement with Iran aimed at ensuring that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons, Sen. Edwards is spending his days attacking other Democrats."

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John Edwards
soundoff (43 Responses)
  1. Keith, Chicago

    I'm not a fan of Edwards myself – I think he's a phony who has shifted from being a southern, centrist democrat to a very liberal, populist democrat as he thinks that gives him the best opportunity to win the Democratic nomination.

    That being said, almost all of his recent criticisms of Clinton are completely true. She has constantly been vague if not flat out flip flopping on issues. Saying that she supported Spitzer's immigration plan at the Philly debate, only to say a couple minutes later that she didn't support it. Giving the one schoolteacher an answer on Social Security at an event in Iowa, only to give him an opposite answer to him afterwards, when it was face to face. Calling Obama "naive" for wanting to engage in strong diplomacy with Iran only to embrace his position just a couple weeks later. Voting to authorize the war in Iraq and fully support the war only to bash Bush and the war when the public turned against the war and it became politically convenient.

    It boggles my mind why a lot of democrats want her to be the candidate (although most of her support is somewhat soft). She is not the best candidate Democrats have, and she certainly will not give Democrats the best chance to take back the White House, considering that most polls show that about 50% of the population will not vote for her under any circumstances! Best case scenario for Democrats, if she is the nominee, is that she wins a divisive, and super-tight race, ala Bush in 2000 and 2004.

    Obama in my mind is the the most honest Democratic candidate. Not to mention by far the best candidate – he has the best and most detailed plans to address both foreign policy and domestic issues, and seems to be the most capable of uniting Democrats, Independents, and Republicans instead of bringing 8 more years of gridlock and divisive politics. Most importantly, he has a ton of support from independents and even Republicans. If he were nominated, he could very well dominate the Republican nominee, in a similar fashion as Reagan did over Mondale in 1984 (the same Mondale who ironically just endorsed Clinton).

    I do like Biden as well – he is a straight shooter and has great knowledge and vision on foreign policy issues – and I think that he'd have a very good shot of winning if he was the Democratic candidate....however, he just hasn't been able to do well in the multi-candidate format of the primaries – I'm not sure if it is because he isn't as charismatic or has as much name recognition as other candidates. But I do think he'd make a great VP or secretary of state or defense under Obama.

    November 5, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  2. AJ, Chicago IL

    Jesse...please

    It is plainly visible that Edwards focus is on Hillary. I want my candidate to be clear and consistent in their message. Sure, give me details on your website, but publicly push the same. Edward's campaign is more concern with catching Hillary with character attacks than with content attacks. For the past month, Edwards public appearances in debates, town hall meetings and etc, have significantly focused on drawing differences between his and Hillary's character, not on detail policy issues. Case in point, Edward's has criticize Hillary for wanting to leave combat troops in Iraq while Edwards has said that he is for ending the war in Iraq, but yet did not promise to have all troops out of Iraq by 2013. What does Edwards propose the US to do to confront Al Qaeda in Iraq, regardless how they got there?

    Unfortunately, many Americans have short memories like yourself and forget how some of candidates changed issues because of the political climate.

    November 5, 2007 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. Maeve

    Doesn't Edwards know about all the "voters" who base their votes on which candidate would be most fun at a cookout?

    With his constant bleeting about Clinton, even as he waved around a sticky rib or squirted catsup on his burger, Edwards would be a total drag!

    November 5, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  4. Karen, Des Moines, Iowa

    I agree with Jesse that anyone who does not know Edwards' position on issues just has not tried to find out. He has been the first candidate to spell out policies on every important issue from poverty and healthcare to global warming and Iraq, and he has gone into great detail. They are all available at his website: http://www.johnedwards.com It is not being negative to point out differences with the other candidates. That is why we call it a "contest". Should we all just be nice and vote for who looks the best or sounds the nicest? And "Hillary supporter", the hair cut thing is getting old. Do you think Senator Clinton cuts her own hair? Stupid people voting for stupid reasons is what gave us stupid Bush! This is serious. At least we think it is in Iowa. Winning a caucus is all about organization not about how many people still have land lines to talk to pollsters. It does not matter what Democrats think nationally. It matters who has the support of the majority of participating Democrats in each state. John Edwards has an excellent chance of winning in Iowa, and I will be there on Jan. 3 to stand up for him in my caucus.

    November 5, 2007 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  5. hillarylover NY NY

    Has anyone forgotten that we the people are supposed to shape policy. I keep hearing that Hillary changed her position on the war when the public changed theirs. Isn't that what politicians are supposed to do? Isn't this why President Bush is being criticized? He is being criticized because we the people who employ him want to end the war–he is not listening to his employers. Hillary is merely listening to her employers. John Edwards needs to listen to his employers and drop out of the race and stop being a drain on our government by accepting public funds.

    November 5, 2007 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. Julie, Atlanta, GA

    Karen in Iowa: This is a PRICELESS statement!!!! "Stupid people voting for stupid reasons is what gave us stupid Bush."

    I'm going to use it while I try to get people to WAKE UP and see that John Edwards is the most extraordinary candidate!!! Haircuts, etc., are simply DISTRACTIONS.

    November 5, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  7. R.C. Granke, Madison, WI

    I find it most amazing how so many people are so pre-set in their thinking and closed minded that they can't see an enormous opportunity in the candidate John Edwards. He not only talks the truth, he acts truthfully and wisely.

    November 5, 2007 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  8. J. McKinney SW MO

    FOR GOSH SAKES, EDWARDS, TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN DO, AND WILL DO, AND LET US DECIDE WHAT WE THINK OF HILLARY. Such a little mean banty rooster. I could never vote for him. We need Hillary.

    November 5, 2007 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  9. Karen,ny

    LITTLE MISS JOHNNY EDWARDS, WHAT A PANSY!

    November 5, 2007 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  10. Chris Blankenship, Oak Lawn, IL

    I think that Edward's attacks on Clinton are a mistake. I believe that people should begin to take notice of the clean campaign. We need a real person in the Oval Office, not someone who is willing to backstab someone on their own "team." I mean for God's sake the Democrats and Republicans can hardly get along enough to get a handle on our country, the last thing we need is "interparty disputing." Seriously you guys are on the same team, start to attack the Republicans and discuss the issues that we all want to know about, stop wasting air time with garbage "political bashing!" If you want to be distinguish your self from the other presidential hopefuls, than do something that politicians hardly ever do TELL US THE TRUTH and GIVE US DETAILS ON YOUR POLICIES!!! Please take notice of Obama who may be younger and less experienced, this man is tough, knows the situations of all people-including the lower class, and the man has a charisma and gleams with hope. This is what the country needs!!!

    November 5, 2007 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  11. Rose Hann New London, CT

    John Edwards has nothing to say that grabs the attention of the American voter, so he watses what little money he can raise on a stupid immature ad dipicting the front runner as a flip-flopper. It is sad when your in single digits and yur school of thought is to discredit the future president. By-the-way John, that wiill not be you!
    Go Hillary!

    November 5, 2007 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  12. Michael, Los Angeles

    Edwards is a total loser. Lost twice in 04; should have learned. He's such a transparent phony he has to resort to attacks. He is very destructive for the democrats hopefully he will retire after this next loss.

    November 5, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. Rose Hann New London, CT

    John, John, John, hasn't anyone told you, you are single digits. You don't have a chance. First the wife comes out and attacks Hillary. Her poll numbers remained high. Your wife brought up the gender card, not Hillary. Now you make a lame attempt to dsicredit the front runner because you can't get ahead without experience.
    Go Hillary 08! Let boys be boys. When you become President Hillary, you will be dealing with MEN!

    November 5, 2007 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  14. Tricia M Ch'town PEI

    I mean seriously. Are these the eyes and the face of a sane man?

    John needs to get a grip and a new speech writer for his Campaign. His endless attacks on Hillary are getting more than boring. How about a few words about your plans to save America John.

    November 6, 2007 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  15. Mary,baltimore,md

    I hope you are not stealing speeches from Obama and wordings.......

    November 6, 2007 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  16. Faith,charleston,S.C

    that was because she was shifting from primary mode to general election mode. Well, we only need one mode from our president – tell the truth mode all the time."

    Edwards went on to say Clinton has not been clear about how she plans to end the war in Iraq, and took issue with her pledge to leave some troops in the region the carry out combat missions.

    "Only in Washington would anybody believe that you can end the war and continue combat," Edwards said. "On a matter as serious as Iraq, we need honesty and real answers-not more double-talk."

    Edwards also assailed the Democratic frontrunner for supporting the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that calls for labeling Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, claiming such a move allows the Bush administration to go to war with Iran.

    "The war in Iraq isn't even history yet, but the Bush Administration is repeating the march to war with Iran, and they're getting help from people who should know a lot better," he said. "George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the neocon warmongers used 9/11 to start a war with Iraq and now they're trying to use Iraq to start a war with Iran. And we have to stop them."

    How about stealing slogans and speech that Obama did the other day in S.C in an African American church. I want a real person who can do their own job or be clear with what they say, come up with their campaign strategies and convince me why I should give him the Big Job...
    I don't wanna say much but John I stopped worrying about you, now you are making it even worse to see you as a vice president.....
    You and your wife get desperate all the time...

    November 6, 2007 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  17. summus

    Edwards votes differently than he talks

    November 6, 2007 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    AJ, Chicago, I watched debate too, Obama and Edwards won nothing, Tim pointed them to attack Hillary right after question. It was played by Tim's scenario for Media business. Obama didn't give us any solutions for our Country, he just criticized Hillary's answers. Obama couldn't unite our Country because he divided his own Party seriously. Hillary wants to change from Bush's mess, but he wants to destroy Hillary. Obama and Edwards are not in same colleague with Hillary Clinton, they will never be.

    November 7, 2007 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
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