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. patrice

    Up until a few months ago i was excited about Obama, and may have been able to vote for him, despite his only being in the national scene for a couple of years. That is until he started to sound phony. He and his wife are beginning to sound too preachy for my tastes, i simply could not take 4-8 years of that. He also has taken to moving in and out of a southern accent, depending on who and where his audience is.
    This could be overlooked if he didn't present himself as a true and new type of politician who would not use the tactics of the "professional" politicians. I was against Hillary because I was believing that she was such a politician, that is until I gave her time and a couple of events in person to hear her out.
    I was for Obama a year ago, but Hillary won me over with these events and hearing her speak on numerous interviews and debates. She is so smooth and the information flows seamlessly when answering questions or stating her positions. Obama, when questioned, speaks in three and four work spirts, this, and the monotone delivery, makes it impossible to stay interested. He is fine with prepaired text, but press conferences will be just as brutal to listen to as it is now with President Bush. We need someone who oozes competence and poise, and that person is Hillary Clinton. Meeting her is the only way I got to feel that warmth and sincerity. She truly could be one of the best we could ever elect to the Office. Obama lost my support before I gave Hillary a chance, but now I am glad I did.

    I would rather take my chances with someone such as Hillary Clinton and her known baggage, because i believe that she is a true idealist who has taken to some of the usual tactics in order to win so that she can do what she really is on a mission to do.
    That is, i believe, to bring back the traditional democratic causes and make the unfulfilled promises of her predecessors come true.

    Finally, as a woman, she is our best and most real opportunity to elect a woman. If we miss this chance, it might be a decade or two before we have another chance to put a woman in the White House. It will forever show ourselves, our daughters, and women the world over, that we can truly "grow up to be president"

    Finally, If you as voters simply cannot support Clinton, please, at least, support someone with real experience, such as Biden, Dodd, Richardson, or Kucinich.

    January 1, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. Suzie

    Gotcha Ron! Great post, and I thoroughly agree with you that John and Elizabeth are good born and raised Americans who could make real Americans proud.

    January 1, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. hkeith

    So Michelle says that the fact that Edwards has accepted matching federal dollars will hurt Edwards if he is the nominee in the fall. That's right isn't it?

    I like Mrs. Edwards - but she should stick to discussing issues not try to pick fights. No one outside of political junkies knows what she meant anyway.

    January 1, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. Lisa

    Amen to that!

    January 1, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. rdierker

    So Michelle isn't allowed to say factually correct things about Elizabeth's husband? How is this "calling her out" exactly? CNN, do you know the meaning of that expression? Why isn't there a headline that reads "Michelle Obama Points Out Potential Weakness In Edwards' Presidential Bid"? It seams like that's what this story is really about. The fact that Edwards uses his wife to defend himself is just a trifling detail.

    January 1, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  6. Mike

    Let me say something to Obama's supporters.

    You guys need to back off little bit, show some respects to fellow Americans. It is way out of control. You guys are 24/7 here, 24/7 on MSNBC, first read, .....But any blogs site is for all comments posted by voters, whether they vote Obama or not, you should expect that there will be different, THANKS GOD, THIS IS AMERICA, NOT ALL OF US ARE VOTING FOR OBAMA, RESPECT TO EACH OTHER. Please watch the way we talk to each other, the way we talk about our candidates. That is all I ask for.
    God bless you all and Happy New Year !

    January 1, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Surfermaw

    Edwards can restore the FDR coalition by running as an economic populist. He can win in places like North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Virginia and Oklahoma. Edwards might even win in places like Texas. He can win without abandoning Democratic traditional values. Edwards can carry rural communities and small towns without going Republican-lite. Edwards will carry all the traditional Democratic areas and much more because he truly represents Main Street instead of Wall Street.

    January 1, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Mati

    donna L.

    "So folks — CNN is the only major news outlet on the web that is not reporting on a major story in Iowa. Hmm… Last night the Des Moines Register delivered their poll — widely considered to be the most accurate:
    Here are the numbers:
    Barack Obama 32%
    Hillary Clinton 25%
    John Edwards 24%"

    If you read all the information about this poll you'll find that it was oversampled with Independents and Republicans.. only about half of the interviewees were Democrats. So that poll is not representative for the real population who will caucus on Thursday night.

    Have a good day and a good 2008.

    Hillary or Edwards will win Iowa.

    January 1, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. KC

    Wow, I was a republican but after hearing Obama, he is wonderful. God Bless you Obama, tell the truth and you will go far in life. May God Bless our world.

    Obama 2008!!!!!

    January 1, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Well I suppose Obama wasn't doing what his wife wanted him to do and she got testy with Edwards...after all she c alls the shots. We were told she wanted to be first lady more than Obama wanted to be president and that she would trample anybody in the way....

    I suppose she thinks since Obama is getting a pass from the press because they don't want to be considered racist, the same will apply to her. And of course she is jealous of the devil that he listens more to Oprah than he does her. She is a manipulater clear and simple. Obama didn't seem like the type of person to let her have him jump thru hoops.

    January 1, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Mat

    Her calling Mrs. Obama out may fluctuate the price of tea in China.....IF SHE WAS RUNNING FOR OFFICE! Someone take her away please. I am sick of this woman and her ploy to get the pity votes for her husband. He was my choice, until she opened her mouth...again...and again..and again....Please!

    January 1, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Phil Memphis, TN

    Edward's wife was simply responding to a comment by someone attending an event. If you want to split hairs, maybe she should have said "if" Michelle said that I am very disappointed. What did you expect her to say? "Michelle is correct, my husband, while being the only truly honest candidate in the running (unfortumately, I can not consider Biden or Richardson to be in the running, maybe McCain would be an exception) doesn't have a prayer of having enough money to truly win the election". At any rate, this isn't news.

    Obama gives a great speech, but has no buisiness being prez. Romney is just what he seems, a phony. Huckabee is conniving and will run the country as if it is his church. Giuliani is morally bankrupt. McCain is honest, but physically and mentally not up to the demands of the office. Of all the front runners, that leaves Clinton (who admittedly is a little too much of the status quo) and Edwards.

    It is sad that the great men and women in our country are no longer involved in politics, and that the few decent choices we have (e.g. Joe Biden and Edwards) are ignored by the press, and therefore, by the public.

    January 1, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Hope

    There is a big difference from knocking someone being called too nice to talking a about how the candidates finances are. Michelle Obama a graduate from Harvard can't even say the right things. Go figure how she graduated.

    January 1, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. John W. McAllister

    John Edwards fooled the people of North Carolina with his snake oil sales pitch once. He was the worst senator to ever represent our state and his attendance record in the senate was one of the worst ever! We now know him for what he is. He could not even be elected dog catcher in North Carolina We have too much respect for dogs. I have yet to have any person tell me of a single bill that he sponsored on his own while in his very few appearances in the senate that was passed into law. His entire 6 years in the senate was spent promoting John Edwards and not the citizens of North Carolina. Edwards, Obama and her majesty are the most power possessed people on the face of this earth. To even think that perhaps any of these three have suckered in their supporters is enough to make one puke. Snake oil is alive and well in Iowa.

    January 1, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  15. xtina chicago IL

    Why not focus on what qualifies these people to be President instead of all the other drama surrounding the campaign? Mayor Guiliani, for example removed 640,000 people from welfare in NY who were able-bodied to work. That's the kind of leadership we should be debating, since most of us agree that Washington and Congress earmark too much of our hard-earned tax dollars for waste. Guiliani accomplished this, while say for example, Edwards sat in on hearings and sat on committees and raised taxes to implement more entitlement programs.

    January 1, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. demgirl

    I cannot believe the rude comments people are making about Elizabeth Edwards, she is the nicest, most intelligent and courageous woman I have ever met or spent time with. She has every right to defend her husband when someone is not telling the truth about him. Elizabeth is John's secret weapon and will be a grand first lady. John Edwards stands for everything that we need to get our country back on track. He will be the person to make our country have pride and be admired once again. John Edward's is the person I am working for to win the Iowa caucus, then the nomination for president for the democratic party and then to the white house. I think anyone who is making these terrible remarks about Elizabeth should be totally ashamed. It takes a lot of strength and courage to be on the campaign trail and do what she is doing. It also takes a very unique type of person to work for her husband and want him to become the president of the united states because she knows how much our people need them in the white house. Only God knows how long we will be here and it does not make any difference if Elizabeth has been diagnosed with some illness. They have made this decision together and they will see it through together. Any ones family member or spouse could have something happen so don't even go there on that one. Elizabeth is the best and John Edwards is the best candidate for the democratic nomination for president in 2008. GO JOHN AND ELIZABETH, GOD BLESS YOU BOTH

    January 1, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. Suzie

    Where is Loud Dobbs when you need him?

    January 1, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. marsha

    A couple of weeks ago Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Obama, were on a platform together. When they were saying the Pledge of Allegiance, Obama
    did not have his hand over his heart during the pledge. How come? I find that
    very un patriotic, especially with our troops over there giving there lives to protect
    and stand up for the very american values that we believe in.

    January 1, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. J

    Hey Chuck in SLC, What's with all the need from Mormons to receive apologies? Why don't YOU apologize to all of us that read your posting, since apologia is so important to you. Elizabeth is brilliant. And you? Not so much... (Get a grip)

    January 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  20. Suzie

    CNN- Censoring News Network. Yeah!

    January 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  21. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Edwards wins this one, in part because is a better lawyer than Obama or Michelle. If you win primaries, the money will come from all the Obama and Clinton supporters when the Kool-Aid wears off and they find their horses have scratched.

    January 1, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. Suzie

    Quoting Fred:

    John Edwards is hands-down my choice for president.

    It's time we got someone electable who can run for the democratic party.

    Clinton and Obama are not electable. Hillary is way too divisive and would be very bad for this country, and mainstream America won't vote for Barack Obama. Put either of them up in the November election and you could end up with Huckabee or Romney in the White House.

    The negatives for Clinton and Obama are not the reason to vote for Edwards, though. Edwards is sharp and will work to eliminate the special interests that are destroying this country. Your Congress is not working for the working American. They are on the payroll and working for corporate America – doing what they want to maximize their profits at your expense.

    You will never get our troops out of Iraq, good schools, rebuilt infrastructure, or sanctions and better testing for hazardous Chinese products with the likes of Hillary, Romney, Juliani, Obama, etc.

    John Edwards. He is the only one with the integrity and electability we have to have to fix this country.

    I totally agree with you Fred. We are of one mind on this issue, and furthermore everyone I know here in Oklahoma loves John Edwards. He will be president. Hitlerry and Obuma will lick their wounds and cry foul.

    January 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Corey, Manchester, NH

    I really don't think you should be wishing poxes on people. Not very New Year like.

    Again, my comment to everyone is this.......we need to get together rather than fight. It's about gaining the White House back and regaining strength again as a country.

    January 1, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. Gary

    These comments are both revealing and disappointing. It shows me how in some cases people are still very bias. I too have been watching CNN today. It has truly disappointed me that they have given Hillary and Edwards so much air coverage as if Barack Obama is an afterthought. As many have mentioned, they have barely mentioned the Iowa poll taken today that has shown Barack Obama leading by as much as 7 points. I was able to get more coverage about that poll on both Fox and MSNBC. That's disappointing to me because I’ve always thought I could count on CNN for balance coverage. The other thing that bothers me is why everyone always refers to Barack Obama as an African American. His mom is white, and his dad is from Kenya. He happens to be a biracial American, which I do think is an asset. He brings so many perspectives to the table. I ask everyone that wants a president that is a bridge builder to ask the question, who would best fit that mold of what this country needs right now as it’s president? Hands down, it's Barack Obama. Not to take anything from either the Clinton camp or the Edwards camp. They are both good people, but I do think that we are ready for something other than business as usual in Washington. Finally, we should all be more positive as we comment about these democratic presidential candidates and their families. Any of them would be better than what we have now, hands down. I hope this country can look beyond the fact that someone can be our president other than a while male. I like to think that we are now a better people than our history would suggest.

    Good by and good riddance George Bush and your old cronies!

    January 1, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  25. colette. seattle, wa

    I don't trust Edwards at all. I'm for Ron Paul (even though his chances are, well...slim). I'd much rather have Obama be in office.

    January 1, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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