September 13th, 2007
09:35 AM ET
8 years ago

Edwards to rebut Bush with two-minute cable ad

Edwards' ad will appear on MSNBC after the president's prime time speech on Thursday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former Sen. John Edwards, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, has purchased 2 minutes of advertising time on MSNBC Thursday night following President Bush's prime time address on Iraq, an Edwards' aide tells CNN.

The North Carolina senator, along with his rivals for the Democratic nomination, have been very critical of Bush's strategy in Iraq.

The ad will run in the first ad break following Bush's address and the official Democratic rebuttal by Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island.

In the ad, Edwards argues that Bush was wrong to push for more U.S. troops in Iraq, and calls for a "firm timeline for withdrawal," according to excerpts of the ad provided to CNN.

"In May, he vetoed a plan to end the war, demanded more time to show the surge could work, and Congress gave it to him," Edwards will say of Bush. "Now, after General Petraeus reports the surge has produced no progress toward a political solution, what does the president want? More time for the surge to work, when all of us know it won't."

Edwards also sharply criticizes Congress for approving Bush's surge plan. A handful of Edwards' rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination serve in Congress.

"But Congress must answer to the American people," Edwards will say. "Tell Congress you know the truth – they have the power to end this war and you expect them to use it. When the president asks for more money and more time, Congress needs to tell him he only gets one choice: a firm timeline for withdrawal."

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Filed under: John Edwards • Political ads • President Bush
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Edwards For Vice President 2008

    That's a lot of money. If no one watches Bushs speech , they won't see Edwards rebuttal. So .........I don't know. I guess he feels it's money well spent. It's just, he doesn't exactly have that kind of campaign cash floating around to be taking these kinds of risks. We will see though.

    September 13, 2007 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  2. Dave Diamond, Mont Vernon, NH

    President Bush hasn't spoken yet, but Mr. Edwards has already recorded his rebuttal? Something doesn't smell right about this.

    September 13, 2007 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  3. Chip Celina OH

    Seems like Senator Edwards has his crystal ball out. Many can predict or have an idea of what the president will speak about, but how can you rebut a conversation you haven't heard. How awkward would it look if the prez ran an end-around and said, alright, we're outta there beginning tomorrow. Probably won't happen, but here in the rural parts of America we call this counting your chickens before they hatch.


    September 13, 2007 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  4. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    So he has already taped the ad before hearing the speech?

    He is a Democrat so it makes sense as many hammered the General the other day again, before hearing his testimony.

    I think John should keep his fake "oval office" as it is close as he is going to get.

    September 13, 2007 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  5. Matt, Manchester, CT

    Perhaps in that ad, Senator Edwards should also detail how he's going to keep a hold on terrorism and prevent Al-Qaeda from following us home. They talk quite a bit about bringing the troops home, but never about what they'd do after the fact. They complain about President Bush being short-sighted, but after step one of their plan to take the troops home, what do they propose for steps two, three, and four?

    September 13, 2007 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. Ray, Rochester

    Make sure your hair and makeup are on target, John. You'll want to look pretty,

    Why don't you also touch on the Katrina victims your employer is evicting for failing to keep up with their subprime mortgages. Why don't you give the $450,000 salary Fortress paid you to a special fund set up to help these predatory loan victims keep their homes?

    Thank god no one watches MSNBC. I think their audience size is below that of Animal Planet.

    September 13, 2007 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  7. Atlanta

    Edwards is a waste of everyones time. He will never see the inside of the White House other than as a visitor. Move on John.

    September 13, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  8. Zack, Boston, MA

    " the style of an Oval Office address, with him sitting at a desk and speaking straight to the camera, with American flag in the background."

    Reminds me of the Reagan years. I miss those evening talks from the Oval Office. Since presidents don't seem to do that anymore, it makes me wonder if, for security reasons, they don't sit in the Oval Office anymore.

    No doubt Edwards got another $400 haircut before the taping of the commercial. Those haircuts make me wonder how he could possibly understand the value of a dollar and the struggle of the nation's poor. I cut my own hair for free. While I'm not claiming to be presidential material, I bet I have a better understanding of spending money rationally.

    To get to the point, this article helps to show that Edwards is all image and no substance.

    September 13, 2007 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  9. Anonymous

    Edwards criticizes congress for approving the surge plan... don't forget, it was his approval and clinton's approval of the war that got us into this mess and our young men and women killed and maimed. Sorry Edwards and Clinton – too little to late. You were both for it before you were against it!!!!

    September 13, 2007 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  10. MCD, San Francisco, CA

    Give me a break, do you people really believe that bush is going to say anything different than he usually says. He is going to say we need more time... that the surge is working... better there than here... remember 9/11... etc.

    September 13, 2007 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  11. Erik, Austin TX

    I don't know about anyone else, but the President's voice and speaking style are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me, so I don't intend to watch the speech, so I won't see this commercial either. I'll get the highlights of the speech from the web later, but I doubt the articles talking about the speech will say anything about Edwards' rebuttal.

    All in all, seems like his campaign could find a better way to use their money.

    September 13, 2007 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  12. Eric, from THE Republic of Texas

    With all due respect to the good ambulance chaser, I mean "good former senator," Bush, like it or not, is the commander in chief. Not Edwards, but Bush.

    John Edwards has no business rebutting ANYTHING after a presidential address. And yes, I'd say the same thing if it were President Hillary.

    This is about simply respecting the power and authority of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government. It has nothing to do with respecting Bush.

    In the military, we're taught that servicemembers carry out the orders of the President, regardless how you feel about him/her. It's done not out of respect for the person who is president, but out of respect for the authority of the office.

    Respect for the office... the citizenry should try it sometime.

    September 13, 2007 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. Michael, NY, NY

    I agree with all the above posts. What also gets me is his continued slamming of the current Congress. That's really easy to do when he doesn't have to actually vote and be held accountable for it.

    September 13, 2007 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Bruce, Franklin, TN

    I wonder if he and Elizabeth flipped a coin to see who would deliver this attention getting yet highly predictable cut and run speech.

    This guy is so un-Presidential, I'm surprised he's even third in the polls.

    September 13, 2007 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. Wallace, Chicago, IL


    Preparing a rebuttal in par for the course in politics. Both Dems and Republicans do it. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Before you judge, know the facts. Both sides know what the other will touch on during their speeches. These things are done "off the cuff"...

    ...don't rush to judgement. Again, Dems and Republicans do this. It is par for the course.


    September 13, 2007 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. J.E.May, Utica Michigan

    To the bloggers who have foung it a surprise that Mr. Edwards could know what Bush is going to say tonight: WHO
    DOESN'T KNOW?????? Are you going to imply that you have ridden along with the rest of America on this 6+ year debacle and honestly tell me that you have NO idea what he is going to say? If so, Please don't think yourself qualified to judge Mr. Edwards or anyone for that matter.

    September 13, 2007 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  17. Wallace, Chicago, IL

    oops. Correction.

    Preparing a rebuttal is par for the course in politics. Both Dems and Republicans do it. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.

    Before you judge, know the facts. Both sides know what the other will touch on during their speeches. These things[rebuttals] are NOT done "off the cuff"…

    …don't rush to judgement. Again, Dems and Republicans do this. It is par for the course.


    September 13, 2007 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  18. John, Michigan

    I doubt very much the president will say anything he hasn't already said. He will probably support his idea of reducing the surge forces by next summer.
    I wish he would support his promise to restore dignity to the White House and resign.

    September 13, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. Allen, Redlands CA

    HMMM..."all image and no substance".

    Kinda makes me think of the president playing dress-up on an aircraft carrier proclaiming Mission Accomplished.

    That is the definition of "all image and no substance".

    September 13, 2007 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  20. Zack, Boston, MA

    To: Allen, Redlands CA

    I couldn't agree with you more.

    September 13, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Roland R., Grand Junction, CO

    Bush's speech was already written, probably before Gen. Petraeus made his speech. Why wouldn't Edwards know the contents? Why wouldn't you? Ans as for the right to rebuttal, all Americans should have that right, especially with this president. He doesn't listen anyway! By the way, I DO respect the Presidency, but not this president

    September 13, 2007 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Irene, Clearwater, FL

    >>>Senator Edwards should also detail how he's going to keep a hold on terrorism and prevent Al-Qaeda from following us home.

    I'd rather see our troops home securing our borders, personally.

    September 13, 2007 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Susan, Fort Pierce, Florida

    I think Edwards is great! I think Bush's whole administration has been "all Image and no substance" for the American people.
    Republicans have no right to bash the Democrats after the hell they have put us through the last six years!
    Go Edwards!!

    September 13, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  24. George

    I like Edwards, but it's easy to demand that others do something when you are standing on the outside. Why didn't he stay in the senate and fight the war with his vote? This allows him to attack the sitting senators if they don't follow his demand, and there is little chance that they, or the rest of the democrats will.
    It's a, "straw man", strategy that he hopes will make him the true anti-war candidate. I don't think it will work, but you never know...

    September 13, 2007 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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