In the final days before the Iowa caucuses, Obama and Edwards are turning up the heat on each other. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - With less than a week before Iowa voters kick off the presidential primary season, Democrats Barack Obama and John Edwards - who had until recently directed most of their criticism towards Hillary Clinton - continued taking jabs at one another Friday, each trying to portray the other as an insufficient agent of change against Washington’s special interests.
Edwards' latest veiled shot at Obama is expected to come in an Iowa speech later Friday, when he will not-so-subtly challenge Obama for taking money from lobbyists in the past. (Obama has not taken any money from lobbyists for his presidential campaign, but has accepted money from them for past campaigns. Edwards maintains he has never accepted money from lobbyists or Political Action Committees.)
"Nobody who takes their money and defends the broken system is going to bring change," Edwards will say, according to prepared remarks. "And, unfortunately, nobody who thinks we can just sit down and talk them into compromise is going to bring change either."
Obama often says he has ability to bring people together and forge compromises.
The comment follows a more pointed one from Obama late last week, when he hit Edwards for not using his influence to end the actions of third-party groups that support his presidential campaign and have been attacking both Obama and Clinton.
"You can't say yesterday you don't believe in it, and today three-quarters of a million dollars is being spent for you," said Obama. "You can't just talk the talk. Everybody talks change, but how did they act when it was not convenient, when it's hard?"
Obama continued hitting that theme in his revamped stump speech Thursday, saying, "I don’t need any lectures on how to bring about change, because I haven’t just talked about it on the campaign trail. I’ve fought for change all my life."
Obama's campaign also released a 'fact check' Friday morning designed to portray Edwards as a onetime friend of interest groups, and a letter from eight former Edwards supporters who say they have switched their allegiance to Obama because of the former North Carolina senator's refusal to renounce the third-party ads.
"He said he would change Washington, and we believed him," the letter says. "Times have changed, and so has John Edwards."
The latest back and forth comes as several recent polls show the three candidates continue to be deadlocked in the Hawkeye State.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney