June 27th, 2007
06:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Edwards confronts Coulter in on-air clash

Elizabeth Edwards confronted Coulter, above, Tuesday on a TV show.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Her husband's presidential campaign has used some of conservative commentator Ann Coulter's most controversial statements about him to raise campaign cash, but on Tuesday Elizabeth Edwards directly confronted the best-selling author and asked her to "stop the personal attacks."

"The things she has said over the years, not just about John but about other candidates, lowers the political dialogue at precisely the time we need to raise it," Elizabeth Edwards said in a phone call to MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews as Coulter, a guest on the program, listened.

"It debases political dialogue," Elizabeth Edwards added. "It drives people away from the process. We can't have a debate about issues if you're using this kind of language."

Elizabeth Edwards’ husband, former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.

Coulter responded that Elizabeth Edwards was asking her to stop speaking completely and suggested it was hypocritical for the Edwards campaign to criticize her comments after promoting them in fundraising solicitations.

"I don't mind you trying to raise money," Coulter said. "I mean it's better this than giving $50,000 speeches to the poor." Coulter was referring to criticism about the former senator’s speaking fees.

Elizabeth Edwards penned a fundraising letter that hit email in-boxes Wednesday morning with a link to a video of her exchange with Coulter.

“Where I am from, when someone does something that displeases you, you politely ask them to stop,” she wrote.

Elizabeth Edwards also asked potential donors to “Please give what you can right now to help raise the dialogue and show that Ann Coulter-style politics will never carry the day.”

The on-air clash came one day after Coulter, appearing on ABC's Good Morning America, joked “If I’m going to say anything about John Edwards in the future, I’ll just wish he had been killed in a terrorist assassination plot.”

On that program, Coulter was referencing the firestorm following her March comments, in which she referred to the North Carolina Democrat as “a faggot” at the Conservative Political Action Committee conference held in Washington. She claimed that, during the same period of time, liberal television host Bill Maher “was not joking” when he said that “he wished Dick Cheney had been killed in a terrorist attack.” According to Coulter, Maher didn’t take the same heat for his comments that she did for hers.

In addition to promoting the latest war of words, Edwards's campaign posted both Coulter's comments in March and earlier this week on their Web site.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (518 Responses)
  1. Jane S. O'Neal, Demopolis, Alabama

    Although I am a Republican, voted for President Bush and continue to support his policies, I was extremely impressed with John Edwards during our last Presidential Election. I am equally impressed with Mrs. Edwards. Her courage and conviction are amazing. Since I was born and raised in the south, my opinion concerning Ann Coulter is this: She is not a Lady
    and HAS NO CLASS–and her tone and use of words DOES promote hate and racism!

    June 28, 2007 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  2. Robin, Aiken, SC

    I emailed Chris Matthews at MSNBC and I will type the same to CNN as I typed to him. Ann Coulter should never wish or state anything about wishing any person, let alone John Edwards, to be killed in a terrorist attack. You might as well say others would die at the hand of terrorist. After what our country went through during 911 and what we are fighting for in Iraq, Ann Coulter should apologize to the Edwards family first of all. She is the one making money off the comments she made towards the Edwards family. She is a mean spirited person and does not deserve to be in the media. If Imus is taken off the air for his comments, then no broadcast should invite her back to state her absurd opinons. I know I will never watch any broadcast that has her on the air.

    June 28, 2007 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  3. Karen Crawford Birmingham, Alaama

    Good for Elizabeth Edwards!
    Ann Coulter is a smug self rightous individual. I do not know who appointed her an expert on anything.
    Her one sided comments inhibit conversation.
    I say, let's raise the bar to intelligent dialogue and debate.

    June 28, 2007 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  4. Jenna

    Ann Coulter needs to be harnessed in the same way Don Imus was. Her language and cutting remarks are just as insulting as his were. Anyone who hires her or allows her to speak on their programs are just as guilty.

    June 28, 2007 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  5. Sharon Koperek...Housatonic, MA

    Ann Coulter is the lowest of the low...anyone who would attack someone that's lost a child needs to "walk in that person's shoes for just one day"...Elizabeth Edwards had every right to call Coulter on such a low blow...and then for Coulter to say they exploit it...My God, this woman is really a "sicko"!!! I see you edit
    whatever is deemed inappropriate on this blog....maybe you should start doing the same with Coulter when you interviewed her...she is definitely
    inappropriate....I know the pain of losing a child as i lost my son....Had it been me on the phone to this woman I would not have been as kind!!! Coulter needs to be put in her place....and anyone who can agree with what she said about the Edward's son needs to walk in her shoes!!!

    June 28, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Sharon Evans, Graham, North Carolina

    I find it hard to believe that anyone whether it be Ann Coulter or John Maher would say joking or not that they wished someone was killed. If people want to know why things are like they are then they need to READ THE BIBLE and see that we have started to see God's Wrath on America. Floods, Fires, Katrina, and it will only get worse until the American people start running this country once again as it was started with IN GOD WE TRUST. Look at St. Matthew Chapter 12 Verse 36 and 37.

    Sharon Evans

    June 28, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. MPauselius Lumberton, NJ

    WOW! My previous posting, which was the first one of today, was REMOVED??? WHY??? Don't you think this audience is sophisticated enough to get the humor and irony of what I wrote? Much as I dislike Ms. Coulter, maybe this is evidence that she has a point. Perhaps hyper-sensitive people DO need to get a grip. Censorship by our so-called guardians of the first amendment...unbelievable. Perhaps I didn't spell enough words incorrectly?

    June 28, 2007 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. Bruce, Franklin, Tn

    My posting from Tuesday was also removed. I opined that anyone who depends on Coulter or Maher to form or influence their political stances should not be allowed to vote. Both are hateful, intolerant and mean-spirited.

    Not sure if this posting was deemed offensive in some way?

    June 28, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. diane rochester, minnesota

    Who is Ann Coulter? A comedian, a political commentator????? Whatever, why don't you contribute a solution instead of name calling and YOUR opinions. If you are so smart and can see how others are wrong , jump into the arena and help provide solutions to the American people.

    June 28, 2007 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. Lisa ,Milwaukee,WI

    Ann Coulter is the most hateful woman.
    I can't stand her.
    I don't think that anybody likes her.
    Everytime she opens her mouth,only poison comes out of her mouth.

    June 28, 2007 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  11. Barbara, Bronwood, GA

    That's what opinion editorial columnists do – express their opinions. That's the foundation of America – the privilege to express our opinions, as many of us have done here. Ann's opinions are shared by a lot of people in this country who don't have a venue from which to air them. Ann did not attack Edwards and the loss of a child does not exempt one from criticism. Ann criticized Edwards for using his son's death to generate sympathy as political support – which is obviously his major strategy since he is using sympathy over being criticized by Ann to increase his donations. The man is a manipulator and not very stable emotionally, if not borderline sociopathic. But that's just my opinion based on gut instinct. How does one person's opinion inhibit conversation? Obviously that hasn't been the case on this site. The constitutional protection of political speech, especially at the grass roots level, is vital to the survival of American democracy. Ann Coulter has the right to express her opinions publically the same as you and I.

    June 29, 2007 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  12. Barbara, Bronwood, GA

    "Talking about their personal tragedy is working thru the process of losing a loved one." That's true, but a presidential campaign is not group therapy and should not be used as such. Therapeutic discussion should be reserved for a more appropriate venue.

    June 29, 2007 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  13. John R. Otten

    I would like to take this opportunity to say that I'm very impressed with modern conservatives for their tolerance of alternative lifestyles. Though they are often and incorrectly percieved as dogmatic in the enforcement of unrealistic or fantastical morality, in fact the reality is quite the opposite. When has the liberal elite ever paid so much attention or drooled with delight over the views of a transgendered person? Yo AC, assuming that you are post-op, you go girl!

    July 1, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. Kyle. Atlanta, Georgia

    Coulter is the political version of Marilyn Manson. Only difference is that he had better make-up, and conservatives don't burn her books.

    August 30, 2007 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. Rachel, Park City, UT

    Why would people even refer to this woman as intelligent? If you have to resort to calling someone a "faggot" to get your point across, you are definitely not intelligent enough to come up with a valid criticism

    August 30, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  16. Tony Martin

    I think ultra conservative Michael Savage was right on the mark when he said Anne Coulter was the Paris Hilton of the right. One of the few times I agree with him.

    August 30, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Rich, Amherst NH

    I think this is great ... those leaping on the bandwagon for Elizabeth Edwards, supporting an honorable "stop the personal attacks" (which I support) and, in the same breath, launching into one of their own on Anne Coulter (her appearance, etc.). I don't hear the same when you same folks personally attack our President – why the double standard?

    Ya can't have it both ways, folks!

    I'm not a huge Coulter fan, but we certainly need her unique though consistent perspective. And we need people like her, who can point out the hypocrisy and idiocy (on both sides) that is a part of every campaign and within these forums. She just may be too high brow for her critics, who either can't understand or appreciate her points of comaprison. I think her against-the-grain perspective beautifully contrasts some of those self-righteous few, who readily wrap themselves in free speech to denigrate our Commander-in-Chief, our on-going warfighting efforts, and our national will to win though steadfastly claim themselves as "patriots." Why can't they now tolerate a little of that same patriotism?

    Long live Anne and those like her … on both sides. And to those fuming – try not to take any of them too seriously. Get outside and live a good life.

    Thanks and God Bless America!

    August 30, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  18. Val, Atlanta, GA

    I LOVE ANN COULTER!!!! She is smart, funny, beautiful and absolutely correct. I just love how she gets to you libs! She's my HERO!!

    December 19, 2007 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21