September 11th, 2007
11:59 AM ET
13 years ago

Edwards: No 'fancy dinners or photo ops'

Edwards said he isn't offering his backers a "fancy dinner or photo-ops with celebrities."

WASHINGTON (CNN) – In what might be perceived as a veiled shot at one his chief rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Sen. John Edwards is taking five supporters to New Orleans to work on rebuilding homes.

“Instead of offering you a fancy dinner or photo-ops with celebrities, we’re giving you the opportunity to create the change we need to see in this country,” Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat seeking his party’s presidential nomination said in a statement.

Sen. Barack Obama, who is also competing for the Democratic presidential nomination, had a $3 million fundraiser at Oprah Winfrey’s California home this past weekend. Obama, who represents Illinois, also has held a contest that gives small political donors a chance to have dinner with him.

The Edwards contest will take five people to New Orleans to work on helping to rebuild a city devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Edwards visit to the Crescent City comes after it was recently revealed that a company he has financial ties with foreclosed on the homes of over 30 New Orleans residents.

An Edwards’ spokesperson would not comment beyond what was stated in the news release.

- CNN Political Ticker Producer Xuan Thai

Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Cathy Turtletown Tn

    People fuss if you ignore a problem and they fuss if you try to help a problem. They fuss if you throw a fancy dinner with rich people and they fuss if you take special interest money.
    Good deeds and people willing to help are hard to find these days because the worst is always assumed no matter what you do.
    To me this is a less selfless act then just raising money and eating or making promises to people who have a special interest and want favors.

    September 11, 2007 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  2. Cathy Turtletown Tn

    oops This is a MORE selfless act.

    September 11, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Wayne, Appleton, WI

    People's criticism of John Edwards is so inaccurate and hateful it is funny. I assume most mus be Republicans since they only look at the bare surface of anything, including this article, his haircut, house, etc. He is the one candidate that is truly concerned for everyone, not himself. Unfortunately money should not be an issue in any election but it is the nature of the beast. I would donate and probably will now to his campaign anyday over Obama or Clinton who does get more money from the far left and celebrities.

    September 11, 2007 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Hoosier Values


    Yes, Edwards contest offers an opportunity to obtain media attention (just like ever other candidate); however, at least he is making an honest to goodness effort to physically be a part of the solution, rather than hold a dinner or simply speak about the problem (unlike any other candidate). Edwards efforts on that day will more good than raising money for a political ad. The reward should be free media and attention to the problem that still exists from Katrina that continues to be ignored!


    September 11, 2007 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Ray, Rochester

    Included in the five winners' "prize pack" trip with Edwards is having the opportunity to evict New Orleans homeowners whose homes have been foreclosed on because they have fallen behind on the mortgages. Mortgages held by the two subprime lenders owned by Fortress.

    Maybe good ol John can tell us again why he was paid a $465,000 salary by Fortress and why he still owns $17 million worth of the company. Or, maybe he can explain that to the evicted homeowners.

    September 11, 2007 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    Isn't he part of a company that foreclosed on 35-40 Katrina "victims"?

    Oh, sorry for bringing that up.

    September 11, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Ray, Rochester

    Wayne..."concerned with anyone not himself..."??? Huh??? Tell that to the homeowners who have lost their homes to the company that paid Edwards $465,000.

    Edwards is an idiot who is ONLY concerned about himself. That god he is sliding in the polls.

    September 11, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  8. Ray, Chicago and IL

    The most telling piece of this article that seems to have been missed by most is below:

    'Edwards visit to the Crescent City comes after it was recently revealed that a company he has financial ties with foreclosed on the homes of over 30 New Orleans residents.'

    If I were Edwards, the least I could do is to go to New Orleans, especially if I knew the great gains I was receiving off of these residents' backs.

    September 11, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  9. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I guess people like getting lied to – thats all I can come up with. Edwards is flagrant liar (from the anniversary dinner with his wife....that the media was tipped off – to everything else he has now decided to volunteer for since announcing a run for president) – but then again – all Dems are liars – and yet – I guess some don't want to see it – they back labor unions – look at Detroit – a ghost town – thank you unions – look at the airline industry – thank you unions – any party who backs these corrupt arcane institutions will not have my vote – but....maybe we all like being lied to?

    September 11, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  10. Ray, Chicago and IL


    I am assuming you forgot to mention that you would not vote for republicans either, especially if you feel like democrats are corrupt. I would like to hear your response.

    September 11, 2007 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. Bruce, Franklin, TN

    Jon is Sacramento is correct. Edwards is a populist candidate running on a message of "them against us" (the two Americas). This message typically repels the people who are inclined to vote, that's why he's a distant third in the polls.

    He comes across as insincere, slimy and phony, befitting his avocation (ambulance chaser). I can't believe this guy is ahead of Biden in the polls. What has he ever done except amass piles of money from corporations?

    September 11, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. Bruce, Franklin, TN

    I am a republican who sometimes votes democrat, and I have to take issue with Chris from Middletown. The statement "all dems are liars" is ridiculous and over the top. I have friends and family who are dems and most are good people...honest, hard working and principled.

    The two party system reflects America. There are good and bad who line up on either side of the aisle. Neither party is always right or always wrong. That's why I find it easy to vote for someone like our governor, Phil Bredesen. Competence trumps party affiliation every time in my book.

    September 11, 2007 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. Debi, Philadelphia

    If you have something to say John, stand up and say it, stop with the subtle dirty shots at the other candidates. Oh, and by the way, the shots are not as subtle as you may think. You are so busy figuring out sneaky ways to trash your opponents that you aren't getting the task at hand done, namely, rising in the polls with the hope of winning the Democratic Nomination. I think you are getting worse everyday, why don't you take the next couple of months off and stay home with the wife and kids, you are NOT PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL.

    September 11, 2007 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  14. Ayveel, Dallas, TX

    John Edwards is fooling himself. Plus he is a major hater.

    His finance campaign is run by Fred Baron, a Dallas trial lawyer. He is richer than John by a far shot. Fred held a huge fundraiser at his $13 million house filled with nothing but a whole bunch of "RICH" folk. How unfancy does a fundraiser get in a $13 million house.

    Maybe it wasn't a photo op with celebrities. But celebrities versus rich businesspeople and professionals; sounds like the same to me.

    September 11, 2007 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  15. Travis, Raleigh, NC

    Y'all keep bashing Edwards on here, while supporting the rich full of themself candidates like Hillary and Obama. Let's face it...ALL POLITICIANS ARE RICH AND WELL OFF, HAVE BIG HOMES, AND SPEND MONEY ON THINGS THAT MATTER TO THEM.

    Not one poor or middle class person could ever run for president because they don't have the money to do it and WIN. No matter how much y'all bash Edwards for his poor boy in the south story, the fact is, it's true. I'm well off and have a family now to and provide for my kids, but I also remember how hard it was for my family when I was a kid. There is no way Edwards forgets brought up like him and myself don't forget it.

    The fact that he is helping, regardless of how y'all want to skew the story, is helping at least. Y'all can say whatever you want about him being a hypcrite, but he's not. Being a hypcrite because you're rich and want to help the poor??? That's essentially what you Edwards' haters are saying. Him being a hyprocrite would be saying he wants to help the poor and then veto a raise in the minimum wage. When will y'all actually vote for candidates based on their actions instead of their character.

    Jennifer from Houstin.... You couldn't say it better when saying that Kerry disliking Edwards makes you like Edwards that much more. I have to agree, as does the state I live in. I would NEVER vote for a Democrat in this next election if Edwards isn't #1 on the ticket. I wanted to vote for Edwards in the last election, but I really disliked Kerry. It wasn't Edwards that lost the south, it's that none of us liked Kerry so we didn't vote for him.

    Maybe Deanna from Brooklyn needs some good 'ole American values..."I wish that Edwards and his camp would stop flaunting their goodness and all-American values." Are you serious?? You had to have made a mistake. Is it not those great values we want in a president. Oh, I'm sorry... You have a candidate that moved to New York to claim residence so that she could run as a Senator and win because she's in one of the most liberal states in the country and has a last name of Clinton. She has such great American values (obviously sarcasm). Go ahead...throw this election to the Republicans again and vote Hillary or Obama in office. You definitely don't stand a chance to peel a southern state off with one of them as our candidate.

    When is anyone on here going to wake up and realize that Edwards IS most electable (it's in every poll)....Y'all are fighting over our nomination, when this should really be over who is most electable. Of course, you see Edwards losing SC because African Americans are voting for Clinton and Obama. When will y'all wake up and realize thats all good and great, but those same people will also vote for whoever receives the democratic nomination...SO, IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER if Edwards comes in 3rd there in the scheme of things...

    September 11, 2007 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  16. Scor, Colo. Springs, CO.

    I can't get past the $400 haricut, Im sorry . What world is he living in?

    September 11, 2007 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  17. Earl, Ohio

    Who accepted money from Hsu?

    Oh yes – Clinton and Obama – NOT JOHN EDWARDS.

    People complain Edwards got a $400 haircut, but at least it was not a $400 haricut from a CRIMINAL!

    Oh yeah all you Edwards bashers, let's also not forgot about a little thing called the Whitewater SCANDAL and that accordign to Hillary lobbies are great for America.

    Seriously. You people need to find a new axe to grind if all you have is whining about $400 haircuts. God forbid someone running for world leader wants to look presentable in front of the cameras!

    September 11, 2007 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  18. Cathy Turtletown Tn

    I can spell liar .... B U S H

    September 11, 2007 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  19. Susan S., Greentbelt, MD

    I support Edwards and I don't know what anyone else is looking at, but he's actually in my opinion the most honest and has the most integrity of any of the other candidates. As for following the others, I really don't see that, in fact the reverse is terribly true: I really see Edwards leading the way for all the other dems on every topic–a health care plan before anyone else had one, deadlines and pulling out troops in Iraq, etc, and really all the other dems kinda wait to see how the public feels and then if it flies, they jump on it like it was their idea.
    In defense of this contest, Edwards has made several trips to New Orleans, much of the time actually getting down and dirty and fixing up a home–he even got a bunch of college students to give up their spring break to join him. We signed up for the contest since me and my husband both felt horrible at the time Katrina happened, seeing people from all over try to go down to help out. Now that we have more flexibility, we'd love to help out, especially considering our knowledge with renovating homes. I think it's great for him to organize something like this for people like us who would like to help–especially where this current administration has just failed to help. Edwards announced his campaign from there and I would have too if were him–it's a disgrace the way the government has failed us all here.
    I feel a lot of Edwards bashing for the sake of Edwards bashing going on here (I'm supposing to make the other candidates look better), but in case anyone else is interested, you needn't donate money to enter the contest. You can just sign up for free on his website–just follow the link to the contest rules and follow the directions for entering without making a contribution, and you too might be able to talk to John Edwards in person about your concerns about health care or education or Iraq or give him the name of a cheaper hairdresser, all the while helping to re-build New Orleans. Making a difference. For free.
    All you have to do is care.

    September 19, 2007 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
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