November 13th, 2007
04:30 PM ET
7 years ago

Clinton criticizes Edwards for 'unconstitutional' ad

Edwards is out with a new ad Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – New York Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign called a new television ad released Tuesday by former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards "unconstitutional gimmickry."

In the commercial airing in Iowa, Edwards promised to end congressional health care benefits if they fail to pass a universal health care plan within six months of his administration.

"There’s no excuse for politicians in Washington having health care when you don’t have health care," Edwards said in the ad.

But Clinton's campaign pointed out on its Web site that this proposal is unconstitutional. The Clinton campaign said it would violate the 27th amendment, which states that any law to change the compensation of members of Congress has to be approved by the House.

Edwards' Communications Director Chris Kofinis said the Clinton campaign’s response shows that she wouldn't fight to pass universal health care.

"Today, Senator Clinton made it crystal clear where she stands: she defends health care for politicians while millions of Americans and their families go without care," Kofinis said. "Voters have a clear choice between John Edwards, who will fight to finally pass universal health care, and Senator Clinton, who seems intent on defending the Washington establishment."

– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John Edwards
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Steve in SC

    Get real! Do you really think Congress is going to allow Edwards to revoke their health plan? Crazy to even bring it up because it will never happen!

    November 14, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. ronnie knoxville, tn.

    so sad, boo hoo , you don't have insurance -- if you can afford DVDs and going out to the movies and cable TV not to mention driving a gas-guzzler, taking vacations, eating out at fast food restaurants throughout the week, and a big screen TV, you can afford insurance.

    November 14, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Frank, Los Angeles, CA

    Point is: Clinton has been fighting for Universal Heath Care for a long time and for KOFINS to say that Clinton will stand for politicians instead of Americans is a FLAT out LIE....

    BTW...MR. EDWARDS would need to propose a law that would take away Congressional health care and get it ONE EDWARDS...Lets look forward to having your state vote you back into the Senate!

    November 14, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. Bill, KY

    What a boob! I supported John Edwards in 2004 (both as President in the primaries and as VP in the genereal elections), but then had to seriously question his appeal. HE COULDN'T EVEN CARRY HIS HOME STATE IN NOVEMBER! All 15 of their Electoral votes went to Bush/Cheney. How pathetic?!

    November 14, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Anonymous, VA

    "Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign called a new television ad released Tuesday by former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards "unconstitutional gimmickry."


    This from the woman that wanted abolish the Electoral College? Hillary, shut up!

    November 14, 2007 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  6. Dan Brown, Collinsville, TX

    The Clinton campaign may be correct about the constitutionality of the Edwards plan to remove Congressional Health care but in a sense, this is a perk, not pay for service. Go Edwards, lets all have hte same care,perhaps it will get better.

    November 14, 2007 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Jon Miami, FL

    Um - Has Clinton cited Supreme Court precedent on the subject of whether the Congress' insurance plan constitutes a "benefit" for the limited purposes of the 27th Amendment? Also – is the Clinton campaign aware of the Standing Doctrine, in which enacted legislation cannot be challenged by just anyone, but rather someone with a "case or controversy" regarding the legislative action, - newsflash – is Congress really going to file that lawsuit to invalidate the bill if the bill serves their constituents by mandating universale healthcare?

    Finally – the executive power referred to by Edwards is the power to submit the bill to Congress – Congress still can decide not to pass it. The debate over whether Congress should pass it; however, would force real discussion on the issue.

    Bottom Line – its a proposal of bold and creative bullypulpit leadership.

    The Clinton campaign will truly say or do anything to get elected. Let a court decide on the bill's constitutionality or discuss the issue honestly, in all of its complexity on the campaign trail.

    Edwards has been the candidate of bold proposals and leadership throughout. I highly recommend those who would judge him to be a little more informed beyond the soundbites, before making an opinion.

    November 14, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Anonymous, Williamsburg, VA

    "The Clinton campaign may be correct about the constitutionality of the Edwards plan to remove Congressional Health care but in a sense, this is a perk, not pay for service."


    I like your line of thinking. Congress has many other perks that should be reconsidered too. Figures Clinton would be the first to defend a perk.

    November 14, 2007 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  9. Paul, Louisville, KY

    For all of you claiming that Edwards doesn't understand the constitution, you are way off base. The President doesn't write ANY laws. Congress does. Therefore, any law Edwards want HAS to be approved by the House anyways. Therefore, his proposal is absolutely constitutional because it is just that: a proposal. Clinton is the one who is throwing the smokescreen to try to hide the fact that Congress cares only about themselves

    November 14, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  10. Tom Dedham, Mass

    If Clinton proposed this you sheep would be bleating that it proves she cares about us.

    Edwards has a good point here and you fools are to blind to see it, only because somebody but the queen thought of it.

    She will repackage the idea and it will be gold to the flock.

    November 14, 2007 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
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