September 7th, 2007
01:12 PM ET
15 years ago

Edwards calls Bush terror policy a 'failure'

Watch part of John Edwards' speech on Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In a speech delivered only steps away from New York City’s "Ground Zero," Democratic White House hopeful John Edwards declared President Bush's terror policy a "failure" Friday and proposed a new multilateral organization to combat future threats.

"Today, terrorism is worse in Iraq, and it’s worse around the world," Edwards said in a speech at Pace University, four days before the six-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. "So what does all this mean? It means the results are in on George Bush’s so-called 'global war on terror,' and it’s not just a failure. It’s a double-edged failure."

The former North Carolina senator also charged the Bush administration has "rigidly stuck to outdated approaches that are ineffective against the modern terrorist threat," and proposed a new multilateral organization that will seek to "create connections between a wide range of nations on terrorism and intelligence."

Edwards said countries from every continent would be part of the organization and would be "required to commit to tough criteria about the steps they will take to root out extremists, particularly those who cross our borders."

In April, Edwards indicated during a presidential debate that he did not believe there was a “global war on terror” and later declared the term "a bumper sticker, not a plan."

Several GOP presidential candidates slammed the comments and President Bush called Edwards "naïve."

Related video: CNN's Bill Schneider takes a look at the politics of the war on terror

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. JB Hull, IA

    " Give us the 1., 2., 3., 4. etc specific steps you plan to take if elected. This campaign isn't a dress rehearsal. This is IT, dude."

    Have you even bothered to look at Edwards "issues" page before commenting? He has more detailed and well thought out "1,2,3,4" plans than either Clinton or Obama... in fact, the campaign has even shifted to contrasting their "issues" campaign with the other two's "celebrity" campaigns... why on earth would you come to the conclusion that Edwards has no concrete plans? What nonesense.

    September 7, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  2. steve albuquerque

    Edwards is right on target

    and in response to comments like this – "How can Edwards say that Bush's global war on terror is a double-edged failure when we have not been attacked one time on US soil since 9/11?! i'm not saying that we wont get attacked, could be tomorrow, but geez cant the guy get some credit for handling this nearly impossible war to win??"

    Posted By Matt, Reading PA : September 7, 2007 2:21 pm

    I would say, Matt, that when the righties are willing to BLAME Bush for letting 9/11 occur on his watch, then I'll be willing to give him credit for the lack of attacks inside the US since then. Question is, are the righties willing to blame anyone other than clinton for the country's problems?

    September 7, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. Shawn, Atlanta, Georgia

    Those of you that left negative comments without actually reading his speech/DETAILED plan on his website have no basis for their opinions and frankly make them look ignorant. Edwards has very detailed plans on most issues that are important to Americans – take a gander before you spout right-wing talking points. The number of terrorists has grown substantially during Bush's time in office; not a coincidence, especially since we have created perfect training grounds for them. Edwards will be the most electable candidate and democrats needs to smarten up for once!

    September 7, 2007 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  4. Nate, Mpls, MN

    Sounds like Edwards would rather be the leader of the United Nations...Actually now that I think of it that would be a great spot for him....An irrelevant leader of an irrelevant organization...nah, his wife would probably piss that election away too.

    September 7, 2007 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  5. Claude, Mesa AZ

    John Edwards is one BIG WOLF ticket!

    September 7, 2007 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  6. xtina chicago IL

    The President doesn't get credit for no terrorist attacks in America in six years; but if we get attacked again, he will certainly be blamed for it.

    September 7, 2007 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. Jake, Fayetteville, NC

    GREG Okc from OK.... I would say this president has been a miserable failure from my family's own personal experience. We support the troops more than you could imagine, but when my cousin went to Iraq and came back deformed for no reason, how are we supposed to feel as a military family?

    This is not about Republicans being more patriotic, or Democrats being weak and not having a plan, these are REAL HUMAN LIVES that have been lost or changed forever. For you to call this war over oil, religion, or whatever else you want to call it a "success" is just plain sick.

    I think y'all will be surprised how many Republicans (like my family) vote for the Dems in '08... that is, if it's John Edwards. We don't like fake Clinton, and definitely not naive no experienced Obama. Edwards is the best shot we feel we have at restoring any sense of normalcy. After all, he can't screw this war up any more than what Bush has done to our family, and many other families out there.

    September 7, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  8. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Well whoever takes the Presidency will have more than Iraq to worry about.

    Thanks to George Bush, they will have the soaring decline of the real estate market and it's plummeting effect on an already rock bottom US economy. Not to mention the Global effect it's spin offs will have on many international industries and markets world wide.

    September 8, 2007 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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