November 13th, 2007
04:30 PM ET
11 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. J. McKinney SW MO

    Oh, good grief, folks. Edwards can't cancel health care for congress. They would have to vote to pass losing their health care, and I can't see them doing that, can you?

    November 13, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  2. Wayne, Greeneville TX

    Edwards got owned.

    November 13, 2007 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  3. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Edwards got owned.

    November 13, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Jim L., Irmo, SC

    Seems like a little bit of a misstep on Edwards' part. It is not waffling or anything like that, but the retort seems a little weak. Couldn't they state how they would enact this paring of Congressional benefits? Or prove that it would be constitutional?
    PS Edwards seems like a nice person.

    November 13, 2007 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  5. J. Richmond, Va

    Amazing...and people jump at Hillary saying she's like Bush when her campaign sets up a planted question. How Bush-like does breaking the constitution in order to further your political agenda sound Mr. Edwards?

    November 13, 2007 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Edwards got owned by Clinton.

    November 13, 2007 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  7. Lucky, DC

    Edwards the unelectable said: "Soon my opponents will feel the shears of TRUTH."

    November 13, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. Wayne, Greenville TX

    Edwards the unelectable said: "Soon my opponents will feel the shears of TRUTH."

    November 13, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. TransparentTrollop

    We certainly don't want to violate the constitution by taking away any of Congress' lush, self appointed, LIFE LONG benefits now do we.., after all, it's not like they would do that on their own is it.

    November 13, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  10. Laura - Tulsa OK

    While I think the prices of medical services are high, the federal government doesn't owe any person health coverage. That's not the function of the government.

    November 13, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  11. Briz New York

    When did people assume they had the right to health care? Personally thosefree loaders in Congress shouldn't get squatt. They steal enough from us citizens.

    November 13, 2007 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  12. Eric, NY, NY

    What it shows is that Hillary understands and will honor the constitution where it seems that Edwards does not and will not. After 8 years of Bush not honoring the constitution perhaps we need a President who understands it.

    Besides we are not solving the health care crisis in America by gimmicks like stripping members of Congress from their medical coverage as most of them could afford private insurance.

    November 13, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  13. Connie, Tn.

    Sounds like a plan to me. What is Hillary's plan for fixing the Health Crisis and Social Security. She must have a plan of her own and not just attacking the other candidates.

    November 13, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  14. Lee, syracuse, new york

    Edwards' Communication Director has given a very poor answer for violating the constitution law.

    It shows that (a) Edwards sometimes does not know what he is talking about, (b) he promises things he will not deliver, and (c) he is inexperienced and unqualified to be a nominee.

    November 13, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. Joe,Newton,Iowa

    Looks like now the campaign is between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. I knew how this has been shaped. It is like senator Obama never existed. No matter how hard you try, Obama is 1. Clinton 2 and John Edwards is somewhere number 7. The Obama has it all to lead UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!

    November 13, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  16. jmaya, iowa

    Eward is power hunger, he changes his skin any time if there power smells. He is even not a talking material, Hill stop taking his name. He has PETS (post election traumatic syndrome) so he murmurs nonsense.

    November 13, 2007 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. Ron, TX

    I can't believe Hillary Clinton thinks that members of Congress should be given health insurance at any expense- including that of the dead and dying uninsured American public...

    November 13, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  18. Bernie Moore-Knowles, Papa'aloa, Hawai'i

    Aloha John Edwards! Wonderful news. Hit these politicians in their own pocketbooks and we might see some action on behalf of health care in this country – or lack thereof! I love it! And Hillary? No one cares what you have to say about this – or have you not realized that by now? Someone turn her off, please? Obama/Edwards in 2008

    November 13, 2007 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. Dallas, CA

    Um, Hillary?

    Any law proposed by the President has to be approved by Congress. I was hoping you already knew that, as you wanted the job and all.

    Stop making up silly things to say about John Edwards (He's acting like Bush? Really?) and start defending yourself

    November 13, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  20. Ken, San Diego, CA

    Maybe Edwards should've stayed a legislature a bit longer....or maybe he expects the general population doesn't know the U.S. Constitution (which most probably don't...) and he can fool us (which he probably can...).

    November 13, 2007 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  21. j

    I can see it now. "Yes let us vote to remove our health care". Edwards has some serious issues.

    November 13, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  22. Ben, New York, NY

    That's not what the 27th says, CNN. The house has to have an election before the change would take place, not that the house has to approve it. It's supposed to prevent representatives from taking pay raises without being held accountable.

    November 13, 2007 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  23. Matt, Manchester, CT

    I'm never one to compliment Hillary Clinton's campaign, but good work slapping this former senator's campaign add in the face. Where is it stated that the President sets Congressional benefit limits?

    November 13, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  24. CB

    This is typical John Edwards style.
    Making promises to the American people that he will NEVER be able to come through on. JUST because it sounds good. Just like Bush.
    The Clinton campaing made an accurate point about the 27th admendmant.
    Thus showing Edwards was B.S'ing voters...again!
    Clinton was pushing for universal health care while Edwards was still chasing, to say she's not interested in U.H.C is silly.

    November 13, 2007 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  25. Rowenia, Ocilla, GA

    Just what America needs after 8 years of George W - another President (whether Democrat or Republican) with no respect for the Constitution. John Edwards is starting to remind me of Rudy Guiliani...

    November 13, 2007 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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