August 6th, 2007
10:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Edwards to talk up trade

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards will unveil what aides are calling a "new, transformational approach to how this country thinks about trade" in a speech he is scheduled to give later this morning.

In remarks to be delivered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Edwards calls current trade policies a "bad for working Americans," and says when "Washington" evaluates trade deals the main question asked is "is it good for corporate profits."

Keeping with his theme from Saturday's YearlyKos convention, aides say Edwards will "continue to make the case that lobbyists in Washington exert too much influence and it's time for the Democratic Party to reject their contributions."

Trade issues will be a focus for Edwards this week. He will join the other Democratic presidential candidates at the AFL-CIO's forum on Tuesday night in Chicago.

- CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson

Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Barabas, Hot City, TX

    Unfortunately, Clinton has it correct on this issue (and it pains me to say that). We cannot turn away big business lobbyists as Edwards wants to do (BTW, he won't actually do it. It's all a ploy to get votes.)

    Big business creates many jobs and funnels a lot of money to the government through taxes, etc. We need them. The last thing we want to do is make it so difficult to operate in this country that they leave to go overseas, or somewhere else. Can you imagine how many jobs would be lost? I hate the fact that the rich get richer too, but that is life. It takes money to make money.

    August 6, 2007 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  2. IV, Dallas

    So, when will Sen. Edwards stop taking money from hedge funds? When will Sen. Obama stop taking money from Wall Street banking bundlers?

    I'm glad they're taking a stance against lobbyists, but they're both not going far enough. Cut out the hedge funds and banking bundlers, too!

    August 6, 2007 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  3. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    What the hell does a gameshow host know about trade, anyway.

    August 6, 2007 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Chris, Middletown, CT

    Does anyone believe this phony? He's another Al Gore wannabe. I was speaking with a local state rep and I asked how they can charge their base with lies and half-truths (and their base believes it) – they laughed and said that I was right – this is a capitalist society – big business is the captialist way – when gas prices are high Edwards was looking at those "evil oil companies making profits" – does he....or any Democrat understand that oil and gas are traded as commodities...wait..I guess they don't – and will keep arguing for the disenfranchised voters – if you can't figure out how to use a paper ballot – how well thought out could your vote be?? (and I wonder which party you might be voting for....)

    August 6, 2007 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  5. David, Gilbert Arizona

    There are hundreds of political action committees that lobby Congress every day and contribute large sums of money to political candidates. They aren't all big business either groups like the AFL-CIO.

    Congress tried to limit campaign contributions but organizations like the Christian Coalition, the Teamsters Union, and the American Family Association claimed their right to free speech was being infringed upon.

    Clinton is right when she says those contributions represent individuals. Large corporations employee large numbers of people who all have a vested interest in the economic health of their company. They contribute dollars to their PAC in the hopes the candidate will pass friendly legislation.

    I like how people point at large corporations with disdain as if they are faceless demons that are out to rule the world. Those large corporations put food on the table, put students through college, and pays for homes.

    Corporate PACs have just as much right to lobby a congress person as the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights PAC has.

    August 6, 2007 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Chris

    Do you any of you know how the economy works? Do any of you know anything besides what your TV tells you.

    Big business does not create "many" jobs. The big boys do have a lot of jobs, but on the National Scale, small businesses hire and pay many many times over the amount of big businesses.

    If anything, the big boys are responsible for the destruction of mom and pop stores and the downhill prosperity of the whole society. It won't take long for the small guys to make up lost time once we get rid of the big boys.

    We don't need big businesses. Please research in the future and don't always believe that we need something just because it is "big". When it all comes down to the line, small guys do the majority of the job creation.

    August 6, 2007 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. David, Gilbert Arizona

    There are political action committees that represent the interests of small business owners. Lobbyists aren't all representing oil and pharm companies.

    There are PAC's that represent painters, construction workers, and dump truck owners. There are just as many small business PACs as there are large corporation PACs.

    It's unfortunate that the average voter seems to have no clue how our government works. There are more lobbyists in Washington than their are politicians. Those lobbyists represent everything from gambling to the fish industry. There are right wing, left wing, and everything in between wing lobbyists in Washington. Each one of those lobbyists represent a group of people who collectively have an agenda. The individual has no voice in government. The PAC, with their collective pot of money, have a loud voice in government.

    Edwards is pandering for your vote. Too bad the average voter isn't smart enough to know better.

    August 6, 2007 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  8. Kathy Callan, Palo Cedro, CA

    Edwards is right-on. Corporate America has a stranglehold on this country and controls what we see on the nightly news to which medicines our insurance companies will allow us to take. He wants to return the power to the people, not the big corporations, where CEOs make 400times what their average worker makes. He has fought for the common man his whole life and will do so for us once he's in the White House. Go, John.

    August 6, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Bob

    Responding to Barabas, Hot City, TX:
    I'm sure that big business lobbyists are at the core of NAFTA, CAFTA and every other unfair trade deal coming down the pike. I don't need to imagine the jobs lost here in America,, all I need do is look around at the ghost town that our former manufacturing capability has become.
    Thanks, big business, for the shoddy Chinese merchandise, the low wages in the States, and the feces we import as food!

    August 6, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. E. Elliott, Orlando, Florida

    You might not like his hair, party, profession, wife or appearance. But he is right that the lobbyists have far too much influence. With the influence comes corruption, bad political policy, destruction of American worker's jobs & futures. He may want to stop the flow of lobby money to honest candidates, is such exist, but he still sides with those that have an iron fast committment to selling out the American worker with the immigration scam. The criminal immigrants must be caught, punished and expelled. Since Edwards and the otherwise superior field of Presidential contestants do not get it, it will be a year to vote independant. Bother the pundits that say that is a wasted vote. Of course if "none of the above" was on every ballot, who do you think would win? An election is NOT about trying to guess who will win. That is for idiots.

    August 6, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. Kyu Reisch

    Edwards is a small crying baby. I think his wife's help is not enough, so he blames the past President instead of the reality. I couldn't believe what is he trying to do? Voters are smarter than Edwards, don't try stupid things, be smarter and work harder. Vote is not free, you have to earn it. Lazy boy.

    August 6, 2007 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. Fred Holmen,WI

    I agree with Mr. Edwards position that we should eliminate taking the money lobbyists slather all over the politicians.

    Just ask yourself, how does a person who works as a public servant their entire life create the monetary fortune the Clinton's have?
    You have to be a complete fool to think it was by making "good investments".

    Governors, especially in small southern states don't make that kind of money. Heck, for that matter neither does the President.

    August 6, 2007 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  13. L, L.A., CA.

    My grandfather had a thriving wholesale rose business for 60 years in central cali. NAFTA passed and within two years we were out of business. A rose that could be grown here for 2 bucks could suddenly be grown by the same company in Mexico for 25cents. My grandfather refused to move his business to Mexico and he paid the price for it.

    I cannot say how much I admire Edwards's stance on poverty and the middle class of America. We in the middle class are being chipped away at. We fear to take a day off because if we lose a job our kids could be without healthcare.

    Edwards feels like he's in touch with real people in America. He has an inner passion, a fire that I think would serve the country extremely well. If he'd been the presidential nominee in 2004 we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now.

    It's a little known fact that the candidate Bush feared the most was Edwards. They were happy to have Kerry as a punching bag.

    It was sad to see my grandfather's dreams, and frankly, my inheritance, go down the drain right after Clinton signed NAFTA. I liked Clinton and it took me a few years to realize exactly what the effects of NAFTA were.

    A few people, who basically moved their business elsewhere, made a ton of money. The rest of us got screwed.

    Now, with stuff like Bush's so called immigration "worker program," they want to move the benefits of NAFTA, (basically slave labor) in house. That's not the answer to the immigration issue. Just becuase you're not working for free doesn't mean you're not a slave.

    In my mind, you're a slave if you can't leave your job, or worse if you'd give anything just to have any kind of crappy job, and if you have absolutely no hope of ever furthering your own posistion by legitimate means.

    Things like NAFTA are cowardly. Edwards, again and again, has demonstrated he has the courage to talk about real issues that other candidates ignore because it might offend someone.

    Edwards really moved me when, on his poverty tour recently, a reporter asked him, "do you think voters will respond to an issue like poverty in the U.S.?" He responded, basically and plainly, "I have no idea if they'll respond to it, all I know is that it's important to me."

    That is a man I can get behind. If it's either Edwards or Obama as the candidate, I'll fight like a mother for them. Hilary, to me, seems to thrive in her ivory tower and remains out of touch with many real world problems.

    Edwards seems like he's really coming in to his own and feels more like the real competition to Obama, the only credible threat to his candidacy actually.

    August 7, 2007 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  14. ds

    edwards is the most backwards candidate in his views. if he were elected, we would become europe, high unemployment, staggering economy, and a lower standard of living. we would also set the stage for become overtaken as the worlds superpower by china

    only those who don't understand basic economics and propsperity would vote for this power monger.

    he has flipped flopped big time but the media gives him a pass. he used to be moderate, now he is a flaming populist liberal who sounds like hugo chavez. we have sseen waht policies like those he supporst have done to countries, why do we still advocate them.

    i will tell you why, because the large portion of the public doesn't understand this becuase they are too busy just trying to work and survive. shame on edwards playing on their ignorance for votes and power.

    don't bot for chavez

    August 7, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. RightyTighty

    Whoops.., theres that used car salesman look again..

    August 7, 2007 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  16. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Posted By Fred Holmen,WI: "Just ask yourself, how does a person who works as a public servant their entire life create the monetary fortune the Clinton’s have? You have to be a complete fool to think it was by making “good investments”."

    Fred, it's called speaking engagements. Bill Clinton has earned $40 million dollars in the last 6 years going around the country talking to people.

    Hillary doesn't make a dime from lobby donations because that would be illegal. Those donations are campaign contributions.

    This entire discussion is very eye opening. Not so much that Hillary would accept donations from lobbyists but more so in how naive the American voter is.

    An example: There is a percentage of the American populous that does not agree with the United States policy on abortion. There are two ways to go about getting this message across to a politician. The first option is for Suzie Homemaker to write a letter to her representative and include a monetary contribution. The representative's secretary receives the check and puts the letter in the circular file. Suzie's stance on abortion goes unheard.

    The other option is for Suzie to join a political action committee. Suzie's monetary contribution is combined with those of other like minded voters. A lobbyist representing the PAC Suzie just joined goes to her representative and says, "Hey, I represent a group of voters who think abortion should be limited in scope. We have a big bucket of money we would like to donate to your campaign if you will help us further our agenda." Suddenly Suzie's stance on abortion is spoken loud and clear.

    So you people who are pointing at lobbyists and crying foul need a reality check. Lobbyists do indeed represent individual American voters and their views.

    An educated voter is a powerful thing and something most politicians fear. Fortunately for the politicians the average voter doesn't have a clue.

    August 7, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |