January 1st, 2008
04:31 PM ET
7 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards 'disappointed' with Michelle Obama

Elizabeth Edwards isn't happy with Michelle Obama.

Elizabeth Edwards isn't happy with Michelle Obama.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – The sharpened rhetoric between Democrats John Edwards and Barack Obama isn't just limited to the candidates themselves - the two hopefuls' wives are also getting in on the action.

Elizabeth Edwards isn't happy with what Michelle Obama is saying on the campaign trail about the effects of John Edwards' decision to accept federal matching funds for his presidential campaign.

"I'm surprised and disappointed in Michelle," Mrs. Edwards said at a campaign event Monday night.

Mrs. Edwards comments were spurred by a voter recounting a conversation Mrs. Obama had with his 17 year-old daughter, claiming the Illinois senator's wife told his daughter not to support Edwards because the spending caps he is subjected to for accepting federal campaign money will seriously hinder his chances in a general election.

For his part, John Edwards discounted the argument that his limited campaign funds are hurting his presidential bid.

"It scares them to death, because what they know is, what this candidate and this campaign stands for is working," he said. "Can I ask you a question? If they have more money, and money's what matters, then why are they worrying about me?"

– CNN's Kevin Bohn and Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • John Edwards
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. E. in Dallas

    Way to pick a picture of Elizabeth that doesn't make her look like a looney tune. Geeze. How can anyone say anything bad about Mrs. Obama? She is amazing. CNN- you're really pulling all the stops you can to stop Obama because you're baby Hillary hasn't been doing so well. Why so scared, boo?

    January 1, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. Enough Already

    Both of these fine ladies disappointment me this New Year's Day. I have the utmost respect and admiration for both. Michelle is probably close to the mark on the campaign financing issue. Should Edwards be the obvious nominee, he'd be out of funds to counter any and all GOP ads against him. It is a huge handicap in a general election.

    True or not, it did not need to be stated, but, in the end, is a non-issue and falls under the category of pre-caucus sniping. Hopefully, this is the end of it.

    January 1, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Vancouver

    It kills me that NADER gets any press at all in the USA. His ego put W in the White House!! Thanks for IRAQ, Ralph. As an outsider looking in, I have seen things go
    from bad to worse in the USA.

    America has become the evil empire!!

    January 1, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Jim, Columbus, OH

    Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have BAGS AND BAGS of money and they are worried about Edwards....I wonder why? Edwards is the ONLY candidate who's campaign is not taking money from corporate lobbyists and they know it. The federal money he is taking is entirely within the rules and would be available to any candidate if they so chose. The argument about Edwards running out of money is a fallacy. He said he would take federal money IN THE PRIMARIES, but didn't rule out other options in the general election, if that's what's necessary. For the lady here who cited poll numbers, people can cite polls all they want...Recent MSNBC/McClatchy, Lee Enterprises Newspapers and Insider Advantage polls say the race in the Iowa caucuses is too close to call...and they don't put your big money candidates in the lead...go check those out and then try to tell us that Edwards isn't viable....

    January 1, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. Not fooled

    Obama says he is for change and that he hasn't been influenced by politics. Well, the fact that he is running a campaign like one of the 'good old boys from Washington' says he is full of it. His 'change' message is just a poor excuse for inexperience. Edwards may not have much more Washingon experience, but he is running on a platform of indepth and well communicated solutions ...and experience (with a track record) of fighting tough battles. I respect that he is using public financing for his campaign.....this is the only way to reduce corruption from special interests that fund campaigns such and Obama's.

    January 1, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Lisa Salt Lake City, Utah

    I am disappointed that Mrs. Edwards would accept a rumor of what Mrs. Obama said without confirmation. What if the person repeating this was # 1 wrong with whom he claimed said it, # 2 made up the story to cause a rift. It doesn't seem very presidential or first lady like to go on the attack without knowing if what you are hearing is actually the truth.

    January 1, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. Lu Clinton

    We have been watching the election bowl 2008 and I have to say the time is not equal among all canidates whether you are a republican or democrat. Obama has had more air time than any canidate. Is this equality or is there a message from CNN here.

    January 1, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. J, Seattle, WA

    This is very shoddy reporting. The fact remains these are both lovely and well educated women, whose purported comments are not only out of context but obviously, THEY DON'T MATTER. What matters is this, who will fight for 'the cause' and who will fight for YOU? We have to get this country back from BIG MONEY. If it takes David to get past Goliath, I suggest that you vote for the guy with the smaller pockets. He has less room to steal from you.

    January 1, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. Steve

    Are these guys such serious losers that their wives have to fight it out for them? The one has no serious experience in national politics and the other is an ex-ambulance chaser who wants to convince middle class America he is one of them while he basks in the millions earned by stealing from them. Well, I guess I answered my own question. Please. The best thing that could happen to this country would be for them all to just go away.

    January 1, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  10. Dee, Plano TX

    JOHN EDWARDS HAD HIS CHANCE ..HE COULD NOT EVEN HELP JOHN KERRY WIN IN NORTH AND SOUTH CAROLINA IN 2004.

    MELLISA...
    ON THE QUESTION OF "EXPERIENCE", IN 2000 THEN VICE-PRESIDENT AL GORE HAD MORE EXPERIENCE THAN THEN GOVERNOR GEORGE W. BUSH BUT STILL LOST THE ELECTIONS. WHY WAS "EXPERIENCE" NOT HIGHLIGHTED IN 2000 ?

    MELISSA YOU NEED TO GROW UP.
    AMERICANS ARE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW THAN NAMES DO NOT MATTER. AMERICA IS A NATION OF NATIVE AMERICANS AND IMMIGRANTS.WE ALL HAVE DIFFERENT NAMES. NOT EVERY ONE HAS AN ANGLO-SAXON NAME.
    ACCORDING TO THE US CONSTITUTION ANYONE CAN RUN FOR PRESIDENT IF THEY ARE A "NATURAL-BORN" US CITIZEN AND ARE OVER 35 YEARS OLD. I DID NOT SEE ANYWHERE IN OUR CONSTITUTION WHERE IS SAYS ONE HAS TO HAVE AN ANGLO-SAXON NAME.
    SEN BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA IS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN AND HAS EVERY RIGH TO RUN FOR US PRESIDENT. WHY DON'T YOU RUN FOR PRESIDENT IF YOU THINK YOU ARE BETTER THAN HIM ?
    FOR YOUR INFO
    – BARACK MEANS "BLESSED" OR ANNOINTED",
    -HUSSEIN IS ARABIC FOR "HOSEA"-" HOSEA" WAS A PROPHET MENTIONED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
    -OBAMA -IS COMMON A LAST NAME IN KENYA.

    January 1, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. adams

    Amiture feather weight Obama is taking a spanking in the Iowa political arina, by heavy weights Hillary and Edwards.

    We all know who can beat the Republicans.

    January 1, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. Brian Little

    Do I detect a hint of bias towards Clinton from CNN? I have not seen any report on the Des Moines Register poll which is very odd!

    January 1, 2008 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  13. stan fisch

    as an independent, I find liz' shrill speech/screech less than informative and indicative of a lack of substance to reveal. a trial lawyer out of cash and with all those special interests floating dirt on his behalf...she has the nerve.

    I'll predict hill will take a spill in iowa, but edwards will end up bow[wow]ing out. class warfare, trial lawyer mold/patina, and below the surface plantation subtlety about race will never sell outside a few dems. nader's endorsement is as much a symbol of his irrelevancy as liz's is a desperate act.

    it is more like wwe every day where the accessories make more noise than the wrestlers, and all become caricatures. obama or kusinich vs. ron paul would be good for the country.

    January 1, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. holly

    Are we supposed to believe that this wasn't Camp Edwards playing the ol' dinosaur political game to get news coverage as the Iowa caucus looms? Also, where are the journalistic standards on this report? There is no comment from Michelle Obama or any indication that she was asked to respond.

    January 1, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. PW Va

    Wait a minute...did I miss something??? Elizabeth Edwards is having a hissy fit over a conversation between a 17-YEAR OLD (who is hardly politically savvy at this point) and another individual? And to top it off, this is SECOND-HAND information??? Like I said in an earlier post, it's time for Elizabeth to pack it in and go home.

    January 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. Fred

    John Edwards is hands-down my choice for president.

    It's time we got someone electable who can run for the democratic party.

    Clinton and Obama are not electable. Hillary is way too divisive and would be very bad for this country, and mainstream America won't vote for Barack Obama. Put either of them up in the November election and you could end up with Huckabee or Romney in the White House.

    The negatives for Clinton and Obama are not the reason to vote for Edwards, though. Edwards is sharp and will work to eliminate the special interests that are destroying this country. Your Congress is not working for the working American. They are on the payroll and working for corporate America – doing what they want to maximize their profits at your expense.

    You will never get our troops out of Iraq, good schools, rebuilt infrastructure, or sanctions and better testing for hazardous Chinese products with the likes of Hillary, Romney, Juliani, Obama, etc.

    John Edwards. He is the only one with the integrity and electability we have to have to fix this country.

    January 1, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. sherry stearns

    While watching your news coverage today I noticed that you gave Hilary Cliton, more national air time, then you did for Mr. Obama, and further more while he was speaking you, you intrupted his time by covering other canidates. I am wondering who decides how much air time a canidate gets, as I see it everyone should get equal air time as we are picking our next president. And as a voter in this country I and many others wish not to have another president like George Bush.
    And by the way you cover the canidates you promote as if Hillary was going to be the next president.

    January 1, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Lynn

    Clinton's husband is fighting for her so why shouldn't the other spouses campaign as well??

    January 1, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. Lisa

    How does Elizabeth Edwards know that the "voter" wasn't a plant in the audience and that he was using her to get a fight between Edwards and Obama for Hillary's sake. Why are earth would she be so dumb to respond as if anyone relating what someone else said to an allege 17 year old daughter would be accurate? If she was White House ready – she would have responded only to the issue of matching funds, and leave the personal stuff out of it.

    January 1, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. Pat

    All the more reason for me to leave the Democratic Party. Bad enough that neither candidate is presidential material, but now their wives are attacking each other instead of using positive postures to relate the issues their husbands stand for. There's not one Democratic candidate who is worth their salt in the bid for this year's presidency. If Ron Paul isn't nominated on the Republican ticket, I'll write him in.

    January 1, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    It looks like Elizabeth wants the WH more than her husband..

    January 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. Larry Buchas, New Britain, CT

    John Edwards makes it sound like we're all headed for the poor house. Get a grip, Americans. This is not quite 1928. We have been heading in the wrong direction. But the poor house?

    Hey John,

    How many Southern states did you help turn blue in 2004? Your powers of persuasion didn't work last time. What makes you think it will this time spreading the same message?

    As bad as Chimpy McSmirkster has left us, I prefer a message of hope, not the doomsday chronicles.

    January 1, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. Regina Davis

    Why would Elizabeth Edwards, be upset? Mrs. Obama, is merely doing to her, what, she has been doing to Mrs. Clinton, but not as loudy as Elizabeth?? I have watched, hardly missing any of this campaign, and it really has turned me against most of the candidates. They can stand on a platform, and preach about the middle class, poor, and below poor, people. Isn't it ironic all the candidates are very wealthy. It just proves, this country is for the RICH !!! They will say anything, to get voted in. Mitt R. didn't do any of his speaking in a middle class house, they were all wealthy. John Edwards really is someone, that can double talk, listen to what he says, and look at how he lives? He remembers his childhood, he hasn't lived it all his life. Be True to Yourself...

    From Indiana (the state that doesn't count)

    January 1, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  24. Nita

    Michelle Obama doesn't know when to keep her big mouth shut. I laughed when I first heard about this last night. This woman is so full of it. This is what she is teaching her kids. Then again look at the chruch they have their children involved. Very intersting – looked it up yesterday. I encourage more people to read about more about Obama and his wife.

    January 1, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Margaret

    How can conservatives who oppose abortion support the death penalty? Does the sanctity of life begin at conception and end in a courtroom? When you question candidates on their beliefs regarding abortion, why don't you follow up with a question about support of the death penalty?

    January 1, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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