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. josh

    Is "sniping" the new catch phrase? I thought it was "swift boating".

    November 21, 2007 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  2. Katy7540

    Edwards is now playing Mr Nice Guy as if he hasn't been doing his own "sniping" at Clinton for quite some time, and is hardly innocent. He started it all in the last two debates. However, Obama and Edwards have clearly identified Clinton's inconsistency for what she says she stands for as a candidate and what she has voted on in the Senate. In my opinion, she has had nothing to challenge Obama with except childish remarks. Given the recent endorsement by President Bush, it becomes even more evident what her agenda has been and will continue to be.

    November 21, 2007 04:01 am at 4:01 am |
  3. Independent in IA

    LMAO!!! Only about 20 hours a day, Johnnie-Boy!!! If you didn't keep up with the dirt being dumped on your rivals YOU wouldn't have anything to talk about. You spend the other 4 hours crying in your beer that you didn't think to sling the particular mud first...

    November 21, 2007 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  4. mark wilkes barre pa

    I pay no attention to the Obama /Clinton sniping,,,,,,, the rest of the sentence,,,,," But I'm sure glad it's happening so they leave me alone "

    November 21, 2007 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  5. good, New York, ny

    I know Edward, now you are running scare after the last debate. Why when Hillary was talking about her experience as a first lady you were criticize her. Now that she is firing back at you, you are running scare.

    November 21, 2007 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  6. Jack, Fort Myers, Florida

    No..we did that last time and the time before and look where it got us. Believe us John...the American people are looking for someone who will have world presence..and won't embarass us as a nation. Someone who can be tough enough...or nice effectively negitiate w/ world leaders. Someone who can be trusted enough by the middle eastern nations to stay the course and perhaps get us out of this quagmire with some national dignity maintained.

    November 21, 2007 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  7. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    Oh please...
    These candidates live and breathe what each other are saying and doing while on the campaign trail. How stupid does this guy think we are??

    November 21, 2007 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  8. Jim, HR Director, Tampa, FL

    ...and we don't hire Fortune 500 CEO's resume's, but CEO candidates better have one, and it must quantify their past successes in similar situations. CEO of the most powerful nation on earth is no more an OJT position than it is in a large corporation...

    November 21, 2007 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  9. Rodney Dallas TX

    What a liar!!!!! Edwards is part of the "sniping." Talk about a candidate saying ANYTHING to get elected, it's John Edwards.

    November 21, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  10. Jack, Fort Myers, FL

    "PAY NO ATTENTION TO THAT MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN !!!, exclaimed the little man behind the velvet curtain." Hey John, you can't just click your heels three times in Iowa...that was OZ.

    November 21, 2007 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  11. N Washington, Indianapolis, IN

    In my opinion, Edwards is either lying, or he is not a serious candidate. If he is not paying attention to what his opponents are saying, then he truly deserves to lose the nomination. Considering that he has effectively been running for President since the last election, I would say that he is paying attention- and that would make him a liar. This is big league politics, and if you aren't paying attention to everyone, then you have no business there.

    November 21, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  12. C. Smith, Middletown, NJ

    Yeah. Right. And I have a bridge that I'd like to show you...

    November 21, 2007 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  13. Karen, Des Moines, Iowa

    What America needs now, more than ever, is R-E-S-P-E-C-T. The issues facing us are proof that domestic policy and foreign policy are not separate areas. What we do at home affects our standing abroad, and what we do abroad affects what we can accomplish at home. John Edwards sees the whole picture. His plan for one America will restore us to our place in the world with policies we can all be proud of.

    November 21, 2007 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  14. Randy S. Lawton, OK

    For once I agree with Anon (although who knows if it's the same Anon). Does Edwards expect us to beleive that he's not listening to every exchange between these two. He has to be in order to try to look for an opening because it's obvious to this point that he is not the people's choice in any way, shape or form.
    Also, if he's not paying attention to this, he's not doing a good job of running for president.

    November 21, 2007 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  15. John New York, NY

    If Edwards loses Iowa, there's no doubt in my mind that he will drop out the next day and endorse Obama.

    November 21, 2007 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  16. wale azeez boca raton fl

    People keep saying cnn and all other news media are the problem...really no, I am and avid lover of politics and have followed this presidential campaign drama from day one...when the democratic candidates where playing good democrats, there was crazy cry for differentiation between the they are telling you their differences and people are crying "foul mud slinging again" know what maybe we should all just vote for hilary as we don't seem to be any better than her at flip-flopping..

    November 21, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  17. RD

    First of all the mudslinging between Clinton and Obama is only hurting their ownselves. Just think of the ads the republicans can run if either of them becomes the democratic nominee. That won't have to bash the democrats they can just show video of the democrats bashing each other. And I didn't see Obama and Edwards slinging mud at the debate they just brought up the fact that Hillary changes her position on important issues She was for the war, then against the war, then would bring troops home when she becomes president, and last I heard she said she may have to leave them there to clean up the mess she will inherit from Bush. Sounds like she is not real sure what she thinks needs done. But she has made 4 different statements on where she stands. We all know how she switched on giving illegals drivers license. That ain't mudslinging that is just stating facts.

    November 21, 2007 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  18. Glen, Boston, MA

    It's odd, but the more ideological Edwards and Obama become, the more I respect Clinton's ability to deftly maneuver the political waters. In an ideal world, I don't think I'd vote for her, but I think her ability to keep agile on the political spectrum reveals someone who really knows how to work the system to get something done.

    I respect Obama and Edwards, but they come off as the whiny little adolescent brothers of the sophisticated sister about to head off to college.

    November 21, 2007 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  19. Bubba, Swainsboro GA

    Um, John, there are some Republicans in this race, you know? Quit running against the Democrats if you know what's good for you, and plainly you don't. I'm not liking you as a 'real' candidate anymore.

    November 21, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. Bill Wogatske, Germantown Mayland

    Other than being a NY Senator what are Hillary's real qualifications anyway ?
    I don't think coat tailing riding qualitfies one for Presidency.

    November 21, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  21. Jack, Fort Myers, FL

    With Edwards... we may be pleased with his priorties and supposed policies...but they have not basis in reality. When/if he becomes President he must operate within the "real-world". The GOP will be there, the PAC's will be there. The miscrient foreign leaders will be there. And truthfully, they will not give 2 cents for his agenda. He doesn't have a sense of reality. The real world is: he will step in as Commander-In-Chief of a hugely unpopular war–and have to craft a way out of it–and still retain the respect of the nation in the world. He must heal–divisions amongst world powers created by the Texas Hold-Em leader we have now. The nex President will have one hell of a big job...and truthfully, he doesn't seem up to the task.

    November 21, 2007 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  22. JC Ohio

    "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."

    OH PLEASE!!! What a lie! There is NO WAY this man doesn not listen to every word his opponents say...that is the mark of a good lawyer! They are paid to pay attention, garner information and use that information to strengthen their cases! So either he is a terrible lawyer, or a liar. Hmmm...maybe they are one in the same.

    November 21, 2007 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Jeanette Washington DC

    First, I don't believe Edwards is truthful when he says he's not listening to what Obama and Clinton are saying about each other. Second, I am a long time Democrat, but I am really sick of the way they have been going after each other. I think it would serve each candidate better to emphasize their own strengths and not continue to stoop to mud slinging which to me is counter productive.

    November 21, 2007 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. John Q Public, USA

    John Edwards foreign policy experience is that his hair dresser speaks a little spanish..

    November 21, 2007 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. William

    "Senator Obama is completely entitled to talk about his whole life experience to allow people to judge whether he's prepared to be president"

    I do agree with this. the more Obama talked about his life, the more naive he shows. First he includes community organizer as qualification for president of United States. Now he says life before one was 10 year old as the most important experience for foreign policy. It gets more and more ridiculous. why people vote for this guy? Are they more naive them him? If community orgazer qualifies one to be our president. Jassey Jackson is better than Obama.

    November 21, 2007 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
1 2