John Edwards campaigns in Iowa Sunday. (Photo Credit: AP)
Speaking on the stump in Boone, Iowa, Edwards didn't mention the Illinois senator by name. But as he related his familiar campaign mantra of battling interest groups inside the beltway, he implied that Obama just wasn't up to the task.
"I hear people say you can sit at a table with these people, negotiate with them, and they will volunteer their power away," Edwards said. "That is a complete fantasy. You can't ‘nice’ these people to death."
Obama often says he has ability to bring people together while forging compromises, making the idea a major cornerstone of his campaign's 'change' theme.
Special interests " will never give their power away," Edwards said Sunday. "The only way we are going to get their power away, is we are going to take their power away from them, and we have an epic fight in front of us. …"You’d better send somebody into that arena who’s ready for the fight."
Edwards' jab is part of a days-long back-and-forth between the presidential rivals as they battle to be the ‘Clinton-alternative’ in Iowa. Several recent polls show the Democratic race there continues to be deadlocked between the two men and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, Obama hit Edwards on his record over the weekend, suggesting the former North Carolina senator has changed his position on several key issues.
"We are less likely also to win an election with somebody who had one set of positions four years ago and has almost entirely different positions four years later," he said. "We've been through that."
Related video: Edwards appears on CNN's American Morning Monday
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney