December 22nd, 2007
06:04 AM ET
15 years ago

Edwards applauds Clinton’s decision to ‘follow’ his lead

Edwards has been calling on his Democratic rivals to back a minimum wage boost.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - John Edwards told CNN Friday he was happy Hillary Clinton had proposed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 – a move that followed public prodding from him to adopt the idea.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing. I’ve been talking about this for a long time, challenging the other candidates to agree to follow, and agree to do this,” said the former North Carolina senator. “And Sen. Clinton here, towards the end of the campaign, has taken action. It’s just great.”

The issue of poverty has been central to Edwards’ campaign, and the last few days on the trail have featured verbal sparring between him and Clinton over who was more committed to addressing it.

Shortly after a CNN interview Thursday in which Edwards again asked Clinton and the other Democratic candidates to support a raise in the minimum wage to $9.50, the New York senator released a statement saying she had introduced legislation the night before doing just that.

Was it a response to his challenge? “I don’t know, but I’m glad she did it,” said Edwards.

- CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Iowa • John Edwards
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Mary - Ruston, La

    Is this the scariest guy you have ever seen? Can you imagine America with him as president? We would be in economic trouble so fast it would make our heads spin. If you think you are taxed WAY too much now, just vote for a Democrat! How scary is that thought?!!?

    December 22, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  2. RuthieM

    Obama has talked about raising the minimum wage forever. Both of you followed him then as usual.

    December 22, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Lawdog90

    To you folks who tout a Clinton/Edwards or Obama/Edwards ticket, I don't see Edwards making a good vice-president to either Clinton or Obama. Their time in office will be so incompatible to what Edwards want to do and see done in this country and the world that I couldn't see him participating in the business-as-usual. He'd be better off continuing his work at the poverty center and One America.

    Understanding commitment to a candidate or decision, I would still suggest that if you like how Edwards is already leading his campaign, the candidates, and, to a lesser extent but still, the country as just a candidate, you should change your allegiance. Don't count on him giving up his fight and decompassioning to serve as a VP to Clinton or Obama. I believe it would kill him.

    It's just a suggestion.

    December 22, 2007 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Tom, Lake Worth, FL

    When will people realize that the real minimum wage is ZERO – the unemployment wage – which is something millions of Americans begin 'earning' every time the Federal Government raises the national minimum wage.

    The only thing that raises real wages is economic growth, which only occurs in the ABSENCE of government intervention. But that kind of talk does not get demagogic politicians elected.

    December 22, 2007 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. Steve, Lyons, CO

    Gee-zuz. Quit bashing fellow Democrats, especially Hillary, and talk about your own positions.

    You and Obama sound shrill and desperate. Attack Bush, idiots, not Democrats.

    December 22, 2007 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  6. Psbro

    Can this dude count? Clinton was fighting for an increase in the minimum wage for over five years. Let's ee what was Edwards doing 5 years ago? Oh yeah making 7,000,000 dollars off of sub prime mortgages. Hypocrite, thy name is Edwards

    December 22, 2007 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Ajay Jain

    "Former" Senator Edward can honk/attack all he wants from the "outside" and Hillary will get things done from the inside by becoming our President in 2009!

    Thats called a polite political SLAP in the FACE Mr Edwards!

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 22, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. CS, Gerald, MO

    An Edwards/Clinton ticket would benefit the US far better than the other way around. Isn't John the free thinker of the 2? Hillary is just one of the good ole' boys anyway with her camouflaged Bush-esque politics. I'd vote Bill back in before her.

    December 22, 2007 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  9. Trang, Fremont, CA

    The problem is – we live in a globalized and competitive world. For many companies, often, to make sales, they have the make the price attractive for the consumers. To make profit, they have to cut down the cost. The bulk of the cost are from 'wages'. Add to that, the potential increased in minimum wage, the mandated health care – it will drive many businesses out of business or to look for their workforce in other countries.

    Before we have a few but large companies. They are not afraid of competition. They are pretty stable. Nowadays, entrepeneur spirit is encouraged. There are many competition out there, not just in this country, but in the global world. While it provides more opportunities for people to be their own boss, it also creates more volatility.

    This is a growing pain of the globalized world.

    December 22, 2007 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  10. Bob, San Diego, CA

    Follow his lead? The man doesn't hold any office, nor run any company. He is simply an arm chair politician spouting forth populist ideas without having to worry about how he will get these things done. Life is easy when you don't have any responsibilities.

    December 22, 2007 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. G


    December 23, 2007 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  12. Joseph H, Warner Robins, GA

    Why not raise the minimum wage to $12/hr while you're at it? A low minimum wage encourages people to, I don't know, go to school or get a real job perhaps. I can't imagine the rude fast food employees that I meet earning what used to be a decent hourly wage. The minimum wage is not designed to allow lazy and unmotivated people to support a family of four. Tired of not earning money, not having nice things, driving a nicer car? Get your rear-end back in school and increase your intellectual capital so you can EARN a higher income. Notice I didn't say "be given". Life is hard, get used to it.

    December 23, 2007 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  13. Doug, Richmond, KY

    If minimim raise is increased, prices wil also increase. Why not work on lowering prices? Start with putting a windfall tax on oil companies to lowere gas prices.

    December 23, 2007 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Justin, NC

    Perhaps those who address the "fact" that Hillary introduced minimum wage raising legislation a day before Edward's brought it up should read the following CNN story located about 12 stories down in the archive: "Clinton announces new bill one day after Edwards challenge."

    December 23, 2007 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. Mary - Proud to be an American

    Mr. Edwards I loved you when you were running for Vice President and your children are truly adorable. But I was sorely disappointed when Cheney blew you right out of the water w/out even getting his feet wet – during the VP Debate.

    I still think you are a fine and honorable man, and my heart goes out to you and your wife and family - but I'm afraid your ship may have already sailed...

    I wish all the candidates would stop the bickering amongst themselves. Senator Obama included 🙁 He has proven that he is NOT the Uniter that he wishes everyone to think he can be. And Mr. Edwards you are far better than this.

    December 24, 2007 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  16. Ajay Jain

    Why did you give up the Senate in 2004? "Former" Senator Edward can honk/attack and suggest ALL the programs all he wants from the "outside" and Hillary will get things done from the inside by becoming our President in 2009!

    Thats called a polite political SLAP in the FACE Mr Edwards! Edwards can try all the issues, raise any objection, run all the 527 third party ads, but with public money he is no match for Hillary and/or Obama in 2008.

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 26, 2007 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  17. Denise, Phoenix, AZ

    In this campaign, Hillary has shown that she will follow anyone, if they have a good idea or strategy that is worth copying. So far, I've seen her changing positions as efforts to copy her competition. I don't really see a lot or original thought borne, supposedly, of 35 years of experience. An experienced politician should be able to offer innovative solutions.

    December 26, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
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