November 21st, 2007
10:00 AM ET
15 years ago

Edwards: I pay no attention to Clinton/Obama 'sniping'

Edwards said he wasn't familiar with the back and forth between Clinton and Obama regarding their foreign relations experience.

DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – The same day Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama engaged in a war of words over foreign policy credentials—and the same day fellow Democrat John Edwards' own campaign criticized Clinton for "slinging mud" on the issue—Edwards himself said he's paid no attention to the "sniping."

Asked if Clinton was warranted in criticizing Obama's comments that his strongest foreign relations experience comes from spending four years as a child in Indonesia, Edwards said, "Can I honestly tell you…I spend not a nanosecond listening to what each of them are saying sniping toward each other, so I have no idea what you're talking about."

After a brief rundown given by reporters on the day's back and forth between the two, Edwards continued, "I don’t want any part of any of that. I think Senator Obama is completely entitled to talk about his whole life experience to allow people to judge whether he's prepared to be president."

Edwards was also asked what he felt his own foreign policy credentials were. After first saying that what matters is how well a candidate understands what's happening in the world, he added, "We don’t elect resumes president of the United States. We elect people president."

-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Hillary Clinton • Iowa • John Edwards
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Bob, SI, NY

    So John is either making statements about things that he has no knowledge of (yesterday he injected himself in the debate between the two of them) or he is lying about not following what is going on. So either he makes judgements without facts or is a liar. Either way his credibility is all shot to hell.

    November 21, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  2. Monte Brown, New York, NY

    Edwards does not spend a nanosecond listening to Hillary and Obama and he will spend less than that listening to the American people. Hillary’s planned policies are coming directly from the people. Edwards thinks he’s got everything all figured out. He doesn’t need to listen to the American people because he knows everything. What Edwards is failing to realize is that Americans want their country back from the reactionary right wing. We can’t afford to have another Republican in the executive branch. We must stick with Hillary Clinton because not only is she the most qualified candidate, the most experienced candidate and she’s ready to lead on day one but she’s got the fire power to BEAT THE REPUBLICANS.

    November 21, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. chris sc

    you think she's getting nasty now, wait till she's really behind in the polls, Billary will get down right fugly.

    November 21, 2007 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  4. Tim, El Cerrito Ca

    Yes, he states that Obama is entitled to give his full life story (which I agree) but he has a problem when Clinton does the same thing in talking about her experience while First Lady. And remember this is Hillary Clinton we are talking about...I'm sure she has always been intimitaly involved in the work of running Bill Clinton's campaigns and administrations so her experience is very relevant. I like Obama but he needs to change his strategy on how he deals with statements from the Clinton campaign. I think they tend to make him look weak. He might get a bump if people feel like he's being picked on but in the long run I don't think how he has handled this stuff will be good (e.g. Novak column).

    November 21, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. Jacob, Brockville, Ontario

    Not one of you on here knows anything about Hillary Clinton. She would be the best thing for your country. Her husband Bill was loved by all around the world. He balanced your budget, created a surplus, had the longest peace time on record etc. You guys really need a president with the credentials that Hillary has. She could stomp Obama and Edwards into the ground with her smarts. Pay more attention to the person, not the comments they make. Hillary will be great for you and for the rest of the world. Especially with her husband as an Ambassador to the World.

    November 21, 2007 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. Leo, VA

    Divide and Conquer. All this mess in the Democratic race is good for Republicans.

    Clinton started with a good focus, and she has been distracted by these 2 political amateurs .. Edwards who lost once by not being a team player in 2004 and Obama who is coming everyday with another bedtime story to divert the attention of Americans from real politics. This guy has no respect for the democratic principles, he is way to the left and too avid for power so ready to lie and make empty promises.

    November 21, 2007 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Dan, TX

    Edwards is trying to focus on the issues and the best the media can do is ask him about this?

    The reason we have sniping and swiftboating is because that's the only thing the so-called "journalists" care about. They'll sell more advertising dollars. Politics is not broken, journalism is.

    And Clinton is the one who slings mud but calls it mudslinging when anyone gives honest criticism of her views.

    The reason she is slipping in the polls is that she tells lies and is in such self-denial she really doesn't know it. We aren't stupid, Hillary.

    November 21, 2007 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. Nancy D...Cary, Illinois

    GO John Go. I don't consider this sniping or slinging mud. Obama has only been pointing out differences between himself and Clinton. Edwards has been doing the same. What the heck is the big deal about a bit of intellectual discourse? Grow up people. Our country is in a crisis with our Military being spent, our debt through the roof, jobs going overseas, our constitution being dismantled. There is alot to be concerned about and I myself want to hear the candidates have a real debate and a little discourse. We need to talk about real issues that affect not just us as US citizens but US as citizens of the world!

    November 21, 2007 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  9. Laura Tulsa OK

    John has done his share of sniping. I'd like to see more candidates telling voters about their track records instead of trying to get the public in their camp by making the opponent look badly.

    November 21, 2007 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. Madeliene Bolden; Atlanta, Georgia

    This headline is so untrue. Edwards is always trying to get in the middle of the Clinton-Obama wars. He wants to put his two cents in so that people will know he is still running for president. Edwards needs to "step up his game" and put some plausible alternatives to Clinton and Obama if he wants personal attention on his candicacy.

    November 21, 2007 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  11. S Alexander

    Re Obama (Innocent?) and Edwards Comments bashing Hillary:
    If you spot it youve got it. Frankly Im tired of Obama's patronizing attitude ie in this last debate ie "Hillary is a fine person running a good campaign, but..."Can't you see behind his words????
    Obama, sure he's seen as honest and above it all...because he has not been involved with politics and is unseasoned, untested. We don't need a golden retriever puppy in the White House... we need an adult German Shepard.
    It's frightening to me that Obama may be in the White House during this most crucial time in our history. Maybe In the future when he has more experience.

    November 21, 2007 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  12. Luis Domingo

    I believe the Democrat Party need a strong candidate outside, if they really want to compete against the Republican Party and to win. Hillary is the best option in and out, no doubt about it.

    November 21, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  13. Seam, Philly PA

    Edwards was quoted as saying "We don’t elect resumes president of the United States. We elect people president." That is very well said. I don't like Edwards, but he nailed it. Obama 08'

    November 21, 2007 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. MarkieBee, SacTown, Cali.

    I'm still waiting for any ANY Hillary supporter to list for me how Hillary is more experienced than Obama. I want a list of meaningful legislation that she has passed as a U.S. senator (her only true experience) and I want to see how she was personally involved in policy during her HUSBAND'S administration. Now get to work. But before you waste you time asking the Clinton Archives to release some papers, please reread this from one of your fellow followers:
    "Pay more attention to the person, not the comments they make."

    What the hell is that supposed to mean? Only look at her pants suit, notice her new dye job, determine if she's wearing diamonds or pearls or both that day but don't listen to her?

    November 21, 2007 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  15. mary Roseville,park

    yep -playing mister nice guy...kinda of late johhnie,shes gonna get tougher and you arent going to know what hit the last debate shes only getting started...i hate to see it in full wernt for Universal health care in 2004...but now since the american people want it you do to and shes glad that you do...and your other running mate buddy...he will leave 15 million out of health care..and this from experts..Hillary will madate after the afford poilicy can goes thru its all on the fact hub hillary,all your obambi lies and johhnie lies,and you know she's telling the truth,you guys arent

    November 21, 2007 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. Lois, Pittsburgh PA

    Where can I find Sen. Obama's state senate records to review as part of his resume on deciding the best candidate for President?

    November 21, 2007 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  17. Emerald, Oceanside, CA

    Democrats who think Hillary is their most electable candidate are living in a fantasy world. No candidate with 50% negative ratings has ever won, or will ever win, a national election.

    Most polls sample only a few hundred or just over a thousand people. A poll from a few weeks ago sampled nearly 10,000 people.

    Half of them said they would not vote for Hillary Clinton under any circumstances.

    Note to naive readers: negative ratings go up in elections, not down.

    Hillary is the Democrats weakest candidate.

    November 22, 2007 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  18. Dom

    All Hilary Clinton can claim to – is that she is Mrs. Clinton – she has absolutely NO foreign policy experience; absolutely no economic experience (that was Rubin's job remember); and had an amazing penchant for attracting controversy and a dimal track record in building consensus b/w Dems and Republicans.

    It is very telling that George W. Bush, Laura Bush and Karl Rove have been speaking favourable of Hilary – it's almost like they are campaigning for her to win the Dem nomination – and guarantee the presidency to the Republicans.

    November 22, 2007 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  19. Kanye

    Reprinted :-

    "Not one of you on here knows anything about Hillary Clinton. She would be the best thing for your country. Her husband Bill was loved by all around the world. He balanced your budget, created a surplus, had the longest peace time on record etc. You guys really need a president with the credentials that Hillary has. She could stomp Obama and Edwards into the ground with her smarts. Pay more attention to the person, not the comments they make. Hillary will be great for you and for the rest of the world. Especially with her husband as an Ambassador to the World.

    Posted By Jacob, Brockville, Ontario : November 21, 2007 12:22 pm "

    End of reprint –


    hahaha. No wonder Bush, his wife, Karl Rove are such staunch supporters of Hilary. She wins the Dem nomination, the Republicans win the Presidency. Period.

    November 22, 2007 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  20. think

    I don't think lots of people realized how frighening it will be if Obama in the White House. He was not tested, period. We all want change, but not his type, NO ! We want change leading to real change. By the way, Edwards is really stupid now. He is planning VP role for Obama. Fight for your own life, Edward. Guess what Obama doesn't care about you at all. Obama is very good at using people to do things for him to reach his own purpose. Not trust him. Don't use your emotion, use your brain. THINK.

    November 22, 2007 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. Laura - Tulsa, OK

    Lois in Pitt:

    you can view Sen. Obama's voting record at

    November 22, 2007 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  22. aj huntington ny

    I agree w/ the thinker that if we use our brain, not our emotion, we'll make more sensible choices in leaders. Edwards Obama Clinton were legislators. That's not executive experience, so their track record isn't suited to the Presidency. Use your brain, not your emotion. And don't vote for revenge against George Bush.

    November 22, 2007 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  23. Lois, Pittsburgh PA

    Thank you Laura from Tulsa. Actually what I am looking for is the record of his Illinois 13th district ending 2005.

    I have already reviewed his US Senate record as well all other senators running for President. I do take in consideration all candidates resumes. Some people don't think resumes are important. I do.

    November 23, 2007 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
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