December 24th, 2007
03:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama and Edwards battle for populist mantle

Sen. Obama is running a new ad in Iowa.

(CNN) – Democrats Barack Obama and John Edwards are both making populist pitches in Iowa, with just over a week to go until the state’s presidential caucuses.

In ‘Enough’, a 30-second spot that debuted in the Hawkeye State this weekend, Barack Obama tells an Iowa crowd that “We gotta stop giving tax breaks to companies that are moving overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that are investing right here in Iowa…Enough is enough.

“If the plant moves to China, and you’ve been working there for 20, 30 years and suddenly you have the rug pulled out from under ya…and you don’t have health care, and you don’t have a pension, you’re on your own,” says the Illinois senator.

The ad was unveiled the same weekend as John Edwards’ $25 billion job creation plan. It calls for increasing federal aid to help “hard-working families across America [who] are already struggling to make ends meet,” the former North Carolina senator said in a statement.

Obama and Edwards have sparred in recent weeks over who is best-equipped to take on corporate interests and fight for economic reform.

- CNN’s Emily Sherman

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • John Edwards • Political ads
soundoff (61 Responses)


    December 24, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I like Obama (I really do) – we need to address the root cause of problems (not the symptoms) – its cheaper in China because the unions gouge employers for unreasonable wages and benefits (an reward workers in a communist "everyone gets the same wage regardless of work effort") – and on healthcare – lawyers sue insurance companies on a daily basis (doctors, drug companies, hospitals included) – where do you think the "settlements" come from....yep....your premiums....come on can't be that thick....can you?? Unions (who the Democrats pander to) and tort reform (which Democrats also fight against) are two primary reasons why we are bleeding jobs and healthcare costs so much....stop your own party – moderates unite...elect a moderate to run your party who will (once again) ask "not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" – you guys are far away from your roots....and embracing socialism...sad

    December 24, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. Daniel, NY

    The latest Iowa poll released this morning has Clinton opening up a huge lead against Obama and Edwards. Outlier, or beginning of the end? Judge for yourself - link here.

    December 24, 2007 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  4. Equal Opportunity Coalition for Wives in America

    Don't know why everyone is getting so up tight. Everyone knows Michelle wears the pants in the Obama family. And the country ran just fine for 8 years under Nancy Reagan didn't it 😉 I'm sure Michelle is equally capable.

    Go Michelle/Oprah '08

    December 24, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. DAMOO, Madison WI

    These two better stop the sparring and the back and forth politics. It's gonna be really awkward when Obama asks Edwards to be his VP.
    At least they are staying on message and being on point, unlike that one somebody who CNN obviously has a bias for.
    Starts with an 'H' and rhymes with 'larry'

    December 24, 2007 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. pam Eugene OR

    That is what our next President and Vice President have to say. I don't really care which is but Obama/Edwards would be pretty cool! As long as Hillary is not part of the mix I can live with it either way.

    December 24, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. phil

    Edward is still airing ads from special interests in Iowa airwaves. How is he gonna do that without taking care of his own campaign. ...Just wondering?

    December 24, 2007 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Obama speaks for a majority of Americans who don't have a voice, so does John Edwards. To stop the sell out of the "American Dream" we've got to start now, enough is enough. Our children and grandchildren will still be paying for Bush's war while their potential jobs move overseas. I love my grandchild so I will vote as wisely as I would in my grandchilds trust account.

    December 24, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  9. Environmentally Blue, DM

    The only mantle Obama has is Corporatist.

    December 24, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  10. Adam Smith, Somewhere in time

    There is a large number of CNN political tickers readers who have a masters degrees in economics and they will tell everyone that Edwards plan or any plan that gives out government money to poor or working class people is a bad decision. They will label it as socialism or communism and that free markets are the only way period. These people have forgotten about the large amounts of government subsidies handed out to big business and that free trade agreements are actually guarentees or insurance policies for businesses who wish to outsource their operations. These enlightened folks think that people toiling 70 to 80 hours a week for 39 cents an hour is the way the worlds economic system should function,to them China is the role model for free market capitism. I hate to tell these brilliant economic geniouses that CHina is a communist country who heavily subsidizes its state ran businesses. Edwards economic beliefs are much more in line with free markets than the globilization model now worshipped by many in cult like submission. If the purchasing power of Americas middle class is destroyed it will take the economies of several countries down with it.

    December 24, 2007 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. john,iowa

    looks like Edward is rooting on Obama surge. Pathetic!

    December 24, 2007 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. laurie,washington

    I have a problem with someone as wealthy as John Edwards (estimated at 54 million dollars) taking public money.

    When people chose not to donate to his campaign, he just went in the back door and took their money anyway through public funding.

    Most wealthy candidates don't take public money that could be used for other important purposes. They use their own money.

    The public has a lot more respect for wealthy people who carry their own weight financially.

    Public funding was established to allow those without such vast resources to compete in the election process.

    December 24, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. snad,nyc,ny

    Barack Obama's time is now. He is a once in a generation leader who has the right experience and judgment to lead this nation.

    He can unite this nation to solve the complex issues before us.

    The other cnadidates, whether Democratic or Republican, will just continue the same old partisan politics that can't get us out of the war, that can't get us health care, that can't get us necessary tax changes, that can't make social security solvent.......and on and on.

    Hillary Clinton can propose anything but she will not get it accomplished because she is too polarizing.

    Hillary Clinton couldn't get us health insurance because she didn't bring all the parties together to hammer it out. Now John Edwards is going down the same path of leaving this one and that one out.

    The nation cannot survive much more of this.

    Barack Obama is a fighter for people and a uniter of people.

    We need him now!

    December 24, 2007 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. Troy,denver,co

    It's awful to say, but the real problem with the Edward's viral online video out today is that is true! It really is him apologizing for votes on now very unpopular positions. We really have to wonder how believable he is now, and because of that, how electable he might be in the future. The only leading candidate who has not had to apologize to us, and in fact who proudly stands by some unpopular positions is Barack Obama. He is the most trustworthy and the most electable because of that.

    December 24, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. CS, Gerald, MO

    Amen Adam!!!! I need write nothing more.

    December 24, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  16. Kristy,nashua,nh

    With Hillary fading into the winter winds (with a 50% of the country disliking her, she is just not viable), it will come down to Obama and Edwards. Between the two, Obama is much more likable and seems to be a much better leader (at least he projects himself better than others).

    Edwards made his millions as an ambulance chaser, and this costs all of us hundreds of millions of dollars in added insurance costs (for frivolous lawsuits- what a waste). We cannot trust someone like that.

    Unless Obama wins, I will probably vote for the Republican. I see Obama as a new JFK, and someone I really can believe in.

    December 24, 2007 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  17. Terry,houston,tx

    Oh for heavens sake. Obama and Edwards are NOT sniping at each other. They said maybe a sentence on how they differ on policy. People are so sick of the media making stories where they don't exist.

    There are plenty of really important things going on you could actually be reporting, but manufacturing political drama seems to pass for journalism anymore.

    And for the record, though I support Obama, John Edwards is also a good man. They both have earned, and deserve to be treated with more respect. Interesting how the media is so eager to join the Clinton campaign's slime-wagon.

    December 24, 2007 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  18. luke,derry,newhempshire

    Obama is ready for prime time. For all his efforts and readiness about change, he has a track record for bringing it about, and his health care plan is very good, leaving 15 million people uncovered is something Hillary created out of the blue since that is not true. We don't need to force people to buy health care if they can not afford it. John Edwards has more credibility but is too confrontational and antagonistic to achieve the kind of concensus that brings about positive change. Hillary Clinton is by far the least suited to lead this country by virtue of honest,trust and baggage that she comes along with. Her plans for health care and middle class tax relief is questionable and a unrealistic. Obama centrist position on foreign affairs as opposed to Hillary's rose-colored view of the world. The Des Moines Register got wrong and will prove it wrong to them.
    I am waiting for this voting period to show the America and the world the people power.
    Go Obama!

    December 24, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  19. Northeaster,boston,ma

    would love to see the community organizer do better than the trial lawyer in Iowa. I like what I hear from John Edwards about the importance of addressing poverty, and he certainly has done a lot of work on defining policy, but I don't see a lot in his track record that makes me think he would be a good President. He seems to be running as Jimmy Carter, while Obama is more like Ronald Reagan (loads of appeal and rock-solid principles), and I remember how that race turned out.

    December 24, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. carrol,NH

    Just like sex scandals, I can not wait the time I will see Obama uproot corrupt politicians in washington. I want a president I can trust. Go Obama we are with you all the way.

    December 24, 2007 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  21. Andy, New York, New York

    It's too late for anyone to do anything about OUTSOURCING! It started under GHW Bush, continued under Bill Clinton and got condemned under GW Bush. America was supposed to be doing with Caribbean, Latin and South America countries (OUTSOURCING) what it is doing with China, India, and Vietnam, where cheap labor can be found. Had American companies kept doing manufacturing and producing in America, at union negotiated wages and benefits, the high costs would have been passed on in the finished products and customers would have been hard pressed to buy. Cheap labor rules the day. And that's why America needs to stop trying to run illegal immigrants (cheap labor) out of the country.

    December 24, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  22. HUCK,LA.

    these 2 guys mean nothing to me. GO HUCK AND THE FAIR TAX!

    December 24, 2007 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  23. Nando,Florida

    400 Hundred Dollar Haircuts , Yeah that a guy I can relate to.

    December 24, 2007 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  24. Bill, DesMoines

    Obama is a joke. Can't believe a light weight candidate like him without any experience, real agenda or in depth knowledge of issues has gotten such hype! Well in our country is easy when you have millions of dollar from rich friends, PACs, lobbyist from Illinois, rich celebrities, etc.
    Obama populist? Obama opportunist, calculated rather. Obama has not chance to win the general election and for th Democrats to nominate him will be a failure!

    December 24, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  25. Banko

    The very best of John Edawards.

    Apologies, Apologies, Apologies.

    Obama/Edwards SmackDown Series:

    December 24, 2007 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
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