RALEIGH, North Carolina (CNN) – As rumors abound about who they plan do endorse, Hillary Clinton thanked former rival John Edwards and wife Elizabeth for their work on poverty and health care at North Carolina’s Friday night Jefferson-Jackson dinner, just four days before the state’s primary.
“Let me say what a great fighter North Carolina and working Americans everywhere have in John Edwards. John ran with compassion and conviction and his courageous fight to end poverty is a fight I will see to the finish,” said Clinton, adding that she would create a cabinet-level position to focus solely on poverty.
“And I want to thank Elizabeth Edwards for her passion for ending discrimination by the insurance companies and for standing up against John McCain’s inadequate and radical health care plan,” Clinton continued. “Elizabeth Edwards is a true champion for universal health care.”
Elizabeth Edwards said she would be “surprised” if she or her husband – a former North Carolina senator – endorsed a candidate before the primary, but left the door open. Many think Mrs. Edwards leans towards Clinton because she has said that she favors Clinton’s health care plan over Obama’s.
With polls showing Democrats increasingly worried that the Party has gotten too divided, Clinton began her remarks with a unifying tone.
“The stakes are too high for us not to pull together as one team. I will tell you this, if Sen. Obama is the nominee, you better believe I’ll work my heart out for him. And if I’m the nominee, I know Sen. Obama will do the same for me.”
That didn’t stop her from taking a jab at John McCain though, saying, “He looks at the hole that George Bush has dug us into and says ‘give me a bigger shovel.'”