January 1st, 2008
04:31 PM ET
15 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards 'disappointed' with Michelle Obama

Elizabeth Edwards isn't happy with Michelle Obama.

Elizabeth Edwards isn't happy with Michelle Obama.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The sharpened rhetoric between Democrats John Edwards and Barack Obama isn't just limited to the candidates themselves - the two hopefuls' wives are also getting in on the action.

Elizabeth Edwards isn't happy with what Michelle Obama is saying on the campaign trail about the effects of John Edwards' decision to accept federal matching funds for his presidential campaign.

"I'm surprised and disappointed in Michelle," Mrs. Edwards said at a campaign event Monday night.

Mrs. Edwards comments were spurred by a voter recounting a conversation Mrs. Obama had with his 17 year-old daughter, claiming the Illinois senator's wife told his daughter not to support Edwards because the spending caps he is subjected to for accepting federal campaign money will seriously hinder his chances in a general election.

For his part, John Edwards discounted the argument that his limited campaign funds are hurting his presidential bid.

"It scares them to death, because what they know is, what this candidate and this campaign stands for is working," he said. "Can I ask you a question? If they have more money, and money's what matters, then why are they worrying about me?"

- CNN's Kevin Bohn and Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • John Edwards
soundoff (211 Responses)
  1. alan

    Like it or not, Obama on the ticket is a loser for the democrats. Their (Barak's and Michelle's) relative inexperience on the national level will ultimately become an inescapable liability in the general election. America is not going to elect a less-than-one-term junior Senator as President. The fairy tale just doesn't end that way.
    It will be Clinton-Biden on the ticket. Hillary and Bill's raw muscle, money and savy, tempered by Biden's character, integrity and competence in foreign affairs,
    and they'll win it.

    January 1, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. EJ, Yorktown, NY

    You are absolutely right DJ, NY!
    These wives do no have what it takes to be
    our First Lady.

    January 1, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. Dee, Plano TX

    –adams January 1, 2008 1:19 pm ET–
    You wrote
    "Amiture feather weight Obama is taking a spanking in the Iowa political arina, by heavy weights Hillary and Edwards."

    "We all know who can beat the Republicans."


    I can tell you are illiterate – OBAMA has a Law Degree. What professional qualification do you have ? Are you smarter than a 5th Grader ?
    ****You can't even spell "amateur" and "arena".******pathetic.

    January 1, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Jeff from Jersey

    If you are getting your information about the completely fictional huge lead that some mis-guided Obama supporters dream that he has from this site then you are even more clueless than they are.I can understand why they completely distort those numbers since some of them clearly still "inhale" but not those whose only source of "information" comes from them.Maybe it's "second-hand smoke" or just a holiday hangover.
    John Edwards used to be a lawyer,who are often reffered to as a "mouth-piece" but it is clear that Elizabeth is running her husband's campaign,which just proves that Edwards is nothing more than a puppet,which is very bad news for the country if he ever becomes President.
    The only difference between Obama and the other candidates,including Edwards,is that his very carefully crafted image has done a better job of hiding the strings but make no mistake,he is a politician cut from the same cloth.Just because he constantly says he's different,he's not.That's like Bush saying over and over that Iraq has nuclear weapons.He figured if he said it often enough that would make it true which has been proven to be a very,very costly lie.However all that repetition got him helped him get re-elected and proved that if you say something often enough you can fool enough people to get elected.That is what the Obama campaign is banking on.
    Everyone has always known that Hillary wears the pants in her marriage so that her run at the whitehouse,if nothing else, has that degree of honesty about it.She is speaking her mind and Bill is toeing the line and not the other way around.
    Conservatives that complain about CNN should go back to FOX and get their daily dose of brainwashing.

    January 1, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Aware

    Good for you Elizabeth. Michelle Obama is part of the sneaky team, and you caught her!

    January 1, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Liam

    So, Mrs Edwards is disappointed that Mrs Obama does not want voters to support John Edwards. What a shocker. Is Elizabeth Edwards telling voters that they should vote for Obama!. I am very disappointed in Elizabeth Edwards. She wants to be allowdd to persuade voters to not vote for someone other than her husband, but Mrs. Obama is not supposed to do the same thing. Looks like Edwards is showing signs of desperation.

    John Edwards has been telling voters not to support Obama because he is "too nice", but Mrs. Edwards feels that the Obama family have no right to tell voters why the should not vote for her little John Boy. How is that for hypocrisy!

    January 1, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. David

    Does it really mattter?

    Why? Why? Why do we care about what there wigves say to or about each other or there husbands campaine? The only thing I care about is what are they whoare really running going to do to me, or perhaps in this day and age what are they NOT going to do for me.

    I have in the last 8 years become so jadded that I no longer ask my"political leader" not to do somthing for me At this point I just don,t want them to da anything to me.

    Leve there wives out of the news. Ask thme questions aout things that matter. I don't care about what God they like or how ofter they go to church. I want my contry back I want to trust the federal Goverment again I want the bill of rights I DONT WONT TO KNOW ABOUT THERE WIVES

    January 1, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. Wale

    Let the best candidate win this election, CNN should do fair reporting and stop armtwist the American people.
    It is obvious who the best candidate is for the Democratic party nomination, that is all things being equal!
    There is no stopping an idea whose time has come, CNN please join the band wagon and report fairly and accurately what is really going on in Iowa.

    January 1, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. matchu

    All the negative posts are ridiculous, get over it. We'll see who the clear and apparent winner is on thursday, whether or not they got help or not from their wifes. sheesh...

    January 1, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  10. Ron

    Go get it done Elizabeth....you and your hubby are good born Americans....hope we don't lose out to the ______ jumpers and ______chunkers.

    January 1, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  11. Rob

    CNN you censored my comments about your choice of epic news stories.

    January 1, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Charles in Salt Lake City, UT

    Well, I've just lost respect for Elizabeth Edwards.

    If she wants to be critical of Obama's record - as Mrs Obama recently was of her husband's - then fine, that's legitimate. But to "call out" another person for voicing their concerns about a candidate... Sorry girl, that's low class. And desperate.

    Elizabeth, you should recover your dignity while you can and apologize.

    January 1, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. AJ, IL

    These are very well educated and admirable women. Even though Michelle Obama only stated a very obvious truth, the focus of the election should mostly be on the candidates. Michelle is an asset to Obama on the campaign trail, and Elizabeth is at times an asset, but some times her public comments make her a liability to Edwards's campaign.

    Honestly, other than ego, I don't know why Edwards is running for president again after his wife was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. They have small kids 7 to 9 years of age. Instead of spending quality with his family knowing his wife has an uncurable form of cancer, Edwards is spending too much time on the political campaign trail. I mean where is Edwards's priority, choosing politics over family?

    January 1, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. Surrealist, Fort Myers, Fl

    Federal matching funds are contributed by all Americans–primarily through filing of income taxes. All candidates in the national presdidential election will be eligible–and only the really stupid ones, or the very rich ones will not accept. This is not the same as PAC or special interest group funding.

    Even alluding that accepting the matching funds is somehow wrong, or corrupt is ludicrious. Just shows that not only Obama but his wife are unaware of how our tax system and our political system functions.

    January 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Jim

    99 – 44/100th percent of Americans tune this stuff out. It is just members of the political class talking to themselves. A pox on all of them!

    January 1, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Jimenez

    Alan you are so right! Obama cannot make it. His wife is an anchor to him. She just weighs him down. This is how unexperienced she is. What will come out of her mouth next. Someone put on muzzle on this woman.

    January 1, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  17. Jen, Gainesville, FL

    First, Mrs. Edwards needs to check the facts: find witnesses to verify the claimed conversation. Second, it the conversation is true, the Edwards campaign can issue a statement to argue why they do not agree with Mrs. Obama on the statement. You can not shoot people without asking. Be mature amd be civil. By the way, I personally think that there is nothing wrong with the content of the claimed statement.

    January 1, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Suzie

    Wow! I'm amazed to hear anything on CNN about John Edwards. All I hear is Obamo and Hitlery. I intent to vote for John Edwards. He is the most electable. He is charming and intelligent, and CNN is so afraid to report on him. They don't like anyone who pulls themselves up by the bootstraps and becomes wealthy. I love John, and let me tell you – he isn't even showing half his charisma. Probably because he is so worried about Elizabeth. But wait- this isn't really about John Edwards is it? It's about his wife Elizabeth. She is an American and she can speak her mind as well as sour puss Obammo's wife. Good going Elizabeth. Hey via your remarks we finally get to hear about John Edwards on CNN. It is might refreshing to this gal, cause I am so sick of Hitlery and Obammo whom are both liars and slick as greased owl poop. I don't know for sure, but I believe that Hitlery and Obammo were both druggies in college. Obammo has admitted to snorting coke, because he knew he would be found out. And there is plenty more on this guy I bet, considering the sour look on his wife's face.

    January 1, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  19. Nick, Rochester, NY


    Here are my predictions about the Democratic caucus results, as an impartial (openly Republican) observer. If Edwards finishes in third place he is out. If Obama finishes behind Hillary he is out. If Hillary finishes first ,or second to Edwards she is inevitable. If Hillary finishes second to Obama she still survives. If she finishes third with Edwards second and Obama first, she is done.

    Who do I want to see as the Republican winner? I can vote for Giuliani, Romney or McCain. If the Republicans nominate anybody else, I defect to Hillary.

    January 1, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. Tom_Iowa

    Shame on Michelle Obama, and those who know her better in Illinois know how much she is sold to corporate America as Obama was during his time as Illinois Senator, and those are facts!! It wasn't until he got into Washington and launched his run for the Presidency when he stopped taken money directly from lobbyist; but he still sold to the Chicago machine and Illinois lobbyist. Obama will the puppet of t corporate America in D.C

    An Obama win will show that MONEY can buy media and manipulate democracy by bringing untested, inexperienced candidates WITHOUT proven business or political leadership to the front line, and that is a risk!. Obama is a "nice" but risky proposition to our country.

    A Clinton victory will reinforce that the establishment machine power still alive and combined with money can still overshadow the voice of the people

    An Edwards win in Iowa will make the Democrats race a real contest and that will be good for the party. He probably doesn’t have the same amount of money than Hillary or Obama; but he has name recognition for real and people can easily be motivated to support his candidacy. he has the best progressive ideas, real agenda and is working hard for the nomination. Edwards wants to change and re energize the Democratic party from the base up, the middle class across party lines; he is fighting for a real chance…no just slogans, his message is clear and sound. When the big press give him enough coverage his message will reach across party lines to independents and some republicans fed up with Washington gridlock and the powers of big corporations and BIG MONEY.

    Go Edwards! show that no one can buy the nomination, not even with the Washington oiled machine, lobbyists, big powers or big TV celebrities or big Hollywood and the controlled media. NOT even 200$ million dollars plus free press and oiled Washington or Chicago machines will buy the Presidency!

    January 1, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. Tim, Minnesota

    Who cares what these 2 think, we have real candidates which need coverage. No wonder why Ron Paul can't get any coverage, you guys are tripping all over the non-stories.

    January 1, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Surfermaw

    The remarks that Mrs. Obama is showing just how green Obama and his wife are even thought they are running for the highest office in the United States. What is more intresting is how quickly Mrs. Obama advanced in her job after the Senator was elected, and some say over people more qualified

    January 1, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Regina Davis

    The more I listen to this New Years Day Campaign, I really don't understand, what these people are voting for?? The Top 3 doesn't hold a candle to Joe Biden. This man is honest, and says it like it is. He is so experienced. Are we voting, on the Rock Stars,(or so they think, with their big showers) or a real educated, in all area's man?? I really do appreciate CNN, and think they do a great job. I would hate to think I had to watch ( FAIR & BALANCED) FOX ha ha ha


    January 1, 2008 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  24. Biden Backer/Seattle

    I like Edwards, but not the wife. Who cares what this chick thinks or who she's disappointed in? Just knowing how meddling she'd be in the White House ensures Edwards gets no vote from me unless he were facing a scumbag like Giuliani.

    Go away and shut up now, Lizzy.

    January 1, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Al McMullin

    So, this whole election is about how much money one can raise? The VAST majority of Americans do not contribute to political candidates. In one sense, large dollar contributors are a special interest group. Those who are able to contribute usually do not simply throw their money towards a lost cause. They would not be rich if they did that in their real lives.
    My particular point is there are some very good candidates who are not able to raise the money Clinton, Edwards and Obama have. The only reason candidates such as Chris Dodd and Joe Biden lag behind in the so called polls is their lack of ability to get fair and EQUAL press coverage.
    Anyone who thinks Clinton has more experience than either Dodd or Biden is an idiot. The press has ignored this blatant lie.
    As for Obama, it is all well and good that he touts his opposition to Iraq. Easy to say when no one cared what he had to say because of the position he held when he said it.
    I agree this potential cat fight between the Edwards and Obama spouses is not newsworthy. I state, with much sadness, that CNN no longer cares about newsworthiness. It is a shell of what Ted Turner created. I say this proud to live in Georgia and work about three blocks from the CNN offices in Atlanta.
    This low-lite trend is not limited to CNN. FOX & MSNBC are right down there too.
    We need to wake up and expect and demand that the news organizations give us the facts and let the viewers make their own decisions. This story is just a sad continuation of a sad state of affairs amongst US news reporting agencies.

    January 1, 2008 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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