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. Tim

    Hillary draws more Republicans to the polls than she does Democrats.

    Campaining on poverty isn't a winning strategy. It's not really a winnable cause in any case. Anyone remember the great results of LBJ's "War on Poverty?" Oh yeah, we didn't win that war either.

    Obama's real strength in the Iowa caucuses is that he tends to come in number one as people's second choice. The supporters of non-viables (Kucinich, Gravel, Biden, Dodd, Richardson) are going to tend to flock towards him ahead of Clinton and Edwards.

    We have a similar caucus system here in Nevada.

    If your candidate has too little support amongst the attendees in your precinct, they have a choice between shifting their support to another candidate or going home.

    As some of these second tier candidatese drop off after the first few primaries, I think the current three-way tie will change into more of a solid lead for the least undesirable alternative.

    January 2, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  2. Nancy, Dallas TX


    I beg to disagree. John Edwards does not have an iota of integrity as a candidate. His trying-to-get-elected message is totally incongruent with who he is. He is FOSTERING envy, resentment and divisiveness. I guarantee you with absolute assurrance that Edwards' concern for the working class is strictly limited to their votes. His message is an insult to voter intelligence, and anyone who believes it should put down the bong.

    January 2, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  3. GG, Frisco, Texas

    Truth hurts but Tuesday will tell it all and we all know that this country is ready for change....right CNN?

    January 2, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  4. Joyce Allen

    As Americans we must unite to save humanity. We must target our country's need to accept globalization of the world, by acknowledging that this acceptance should begin right here in America. Each of us holds within our DNA, different components that separate us as unique diverse individuals while linking all of us togethers as humans. It is my hope that we elect a president that is willing to travel the the world with an innate understanding that we all are related because we are all members of the human race. I hope that some day we can elect a president who can look each person in the eye and firmly share this perspective. Americans should be able to travel the world knowing that we are a people that are respected while sharing with our brothers and sisters overseas; our understanding of what it means to be a humanitarian without fear of retribution.

    January 2, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  5. pierre cassan

    please, dear fellow americans, stop calling your president "leader of the free world" as i read in one of the messages.
    first it sounds like a late 60's cold war nickname, and secondly we, europeans, have our own leaders, for the best and worse, but i think we are also a part of the "free world" and we all hope your next president will be less blind and deaf to the opinions of these leaders than president bush is!!

    January 2, 2008 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  6. Tim Stidham

    I think the press has given Michelle Obama a break with some of her comments she has made several negative comments and if the press is going to screen all the other spouses she deserves the same treatment .Even Obama made a comment that she has a short fuse !!! Its doesn't matter anyhow its going to be
    Clinton anyhow maybe Edwards will be her VP .

    January 2, 2008 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  7. Liam

    John Edwards is still telling people why they should not vote for Obama. He claims that Obama is "too nice". What the hell does that mean, and how do you measure it!

    Mrs Obama was talking about a measurable reason why it might not be wise to vote for John Edwards. Without enough campaign money support, the Republicans would eat him alive.

    Which is it Elizabeth? Your Husband is telling people to not vote for Obama, so where do you come off complaining when Mrs. Obama tells a voter not to vote for your little John Boy. Your husband is the one who set the tone. How come you are not very disappointed in him. Could it be that you are just playing political games, and will say anything to try and get your man the nomination!

    January 2, 2008 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. Anonymous

    she never knows when to close it!

    January 2, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  9. AJ; Montpelier, VT

    And the harpies descend.....

    January 2, 2008 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  10. Jason S., Livonia, MI

    As a Democrat I can honestly say that I am tired of the special intrests and lobbyist continuing to have their voices by buying our candidates off every election year. If I were in Iowa I would be just as confused and undecided as the next person when it comes to which Democratic Candidate to support. I like Obama but feel as though I don't enough about his positions especially his health care plan. Hillary Clinton to me does have the necessary credentials and experience to be president but , I feel as though she would be a lightning rod for the GOP. And when it comes to Edwards he did make a mistake by accepting federally matching funds because the GOP will do another "Swift Boat" routine on him and then he will be left there with no money to do anything about it and once again us Dems will look weak. On the other hand Michelle Obama should not have told someone not to support a candidate just because there candidate doesn't have the dough. I remember when we as Americans used to believe in a government for the people and by the people, but now all we have is a government by the dollar and for the dollar. May the best Democrat win in 08 because of their ideas for moving America forward and not because they had the most cash stockpiled.

    January 2, 2008 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Shlomo Amir

    Edwards is an Israel-Firster who would be ready to sell out USA for Israel and take us into a needless war against Iran for the benefit of Israel. The way that Edwards grovelled before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), was disgusting. Edwards is an Israel-Firster (and not an America-Firster), just like all the other candidates in both the Republican and Democratic Parties with the exception of Barack Obama, Dennis Kucinich, and Ron Paul. It's time that Americans send a clear message to both political parties to turf out Israel-Firsters like Edwards, Clinton, Romney, Giuliani, McCain, and the others. These folks all seem to have brown tongues seeing as to how their tongues are buried where the sun don`t shine deep up the backside of Israeli special interest groups.

    January 2, 2008 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. R. Forbes

    They're trying to insinuate that in Michelle speaking to a 17-year old, as if she shouldn't be informing a 'child'. Well I'm sure that 17-yr old will be voting in the general election when she's 18, and therefore they need to be just as informed as the next adult!


    Personally, I think that the Edwards folks were trying to draw SYMPATHY votes by revealing Elizabeth's cancer issues. I feel for her, but as another stated above, Edwards should be taking this time to spend with his family, NOT running for President. It's all about PRIORITIES! Needless so say that I don't trust him either, I think he talks out both side of his mouth in regard to the special interests and 527s.

    His idiot campaign manager Joe Trippi said yesterday that if Obama had the greater crowds, just stop talking about it and beat them already.... sounds like he's running scared to me!

    OBAMA 2008 and 2012!!! FIRED UP!! READY TO GO!! BRING IT HOME IOWA!!

    January 2, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  13. Thomas

    I am a 40 year old African-American male. The idea of a black man as president in a country that previously supported segregation and opposed civil rights for all americans sounds wonderful. However, that choice would be based solely on race, which is not a valid reason for anyone to support Obama for President. Besides, does he really understand the issues and experiences of black men and women that have the common history being raised by parents and grandparents that have experienced first hand the evils of segregation and racial discrimination? He is acceptable to non-blacks in part because his ancestors were not former slaves,victims of discrimination, or subjected to segregaton. For example, if he were the son of Rev. Jesse Jackson and was running for President he would not have anywhere near the support he has today.
    I say all of this to say that we should look as far beyond race and gender as possible in order to choose the person that is best qualified to lead on the first day of office and make the tough decisions that are required to improve the quality of life for all Americans. We simply cannot afford o have another unprepared, unqualified, clown in the oval office. We have had this for the last 7 years, and lookat the mess that we are in.
    Whether we like it or not, the Des Moines Regist was correct to give their endorsements to Hillary Clinton and John McCain. These two are truly the most prepared and capable of doing the best job at home and abroad. they both have proven their ability to work with those they disagree with and still get results. They both have shown amazing character and strength when faced with setbacks and adversity. They both are more fighter than John Edwards will ever be and have exceedingly more knowledge regarding what it takes to effect lasting substantial change than Obama has demonstrated thus far.

    January 2, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. melissa

    jen, with the right republican, things could be fixed, unfortunately Ron Paul isn't at the top of the heep, we would have to settle for guilliani or romney, neither one of which I feel is any different from our current leader... As for Reagan, was not a big fan of his. He is the reason we have HMO's .... Why your doctor can't just run a test on you when he feels it's necessary, he has to get permission from insurance companies, which most of the time tell you that they don't feel it's necessary, and we all know THEY went to college to become a doctor. Also he is responsible for small business owners taking a plunge. I like McCain, but I do not feel he is going to fair very well in the nomination process.

    January 2, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  15. Joann, Cranston RI

    These "wives" aren't "first ladies" yet – they should sit down and shut up!! Their spouses don't need them talking for them. Who cares what they think.

    January 2, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  16. melissa

    Dee, First of all I am grown up 38 years old as a matter of fact. I am only pointing out what the republicans will do to him in the general election. And no, sometimes Americans are not that smart when it comes to these attacks in Presidential elections.... Do you remember what happened to Kerry in 2004? They took a war hero and tried to make him look unpatriotic. This is what the republicans do. Trust me I know I am from Texas which is a highly republican voting state. What the constitution says about who can run has nothing to do with what I said. It's pretty simple, if Obama ends up being the nominee we will have another republican president in the end.

    January 2, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  17. Uba

    I am curious to know what experience Hilary Clinton has? What has she governed? can you educate me? People speak about about Hilary and experience but can not point to one thing or enerprise she has governed.

    January 2, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  18. tuna

    Geez IOWA . hope you are not going to the caucus. Edwards has fought against insurance companies not for them. If you had a lawsuit against a giant insurance company for doing you wrong, John Edwards would be YOUR lawyer. The insurance companies lawyers would be John Roberts or Harriet Meyers.

    January 2, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. Lost faith in system

    I could care less what they're wives or children have to say. Of course they're gonna say their partner is the best. what a load of c**p! This isn't news. If anything, the more their partner speaks out, the less likely I am to vote for them!!

    I want to know what they're firm positions and plans are, and no more ideological blah-blah catering to the mindless!! It's like hearing the beauty pageant queen saying she wants world peace over and over!

    January 2, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. melissa

    Guys, I have read alot of comments here today about the Edwards family.. Talking about how he should be at home with his kids and his sick wife. I somehow feel that he did not decide to run for President without first consulting his wife. Maybe he runs for President to help those families that have a family member with cancer that can't get the care his wife is able to afford. I often see that we as Americans try to push our values off on others, thinking that we should tell other Americans how they should live (hence , why George W. Bush was re-elected in the first place abortion rights and gay marriage rights) This message is not just for liberals and democrats.. For republicans as well. It is not our job to tell people how to live their lives, by forcing the issues through laws..... If what a person does is wrong, then it is certainly not humanities job to judge. that right is exclusive to god. I did not mean to go religious here, it was not my intent, only to point out that it does not matter what an individual thinks about others, focus on the candidates that best suit your needs and vote for that candidate.... I think when we get down to it, we all suffer from most of the same problems, high cost of living, high cost of insurance premiums (if you can afford it) trying to send your children to college when tuitions just keep skyrocketing, the outsourcing of jobs that are killing pets and children in this country (e.g. China petfood products and lead in childrens toys) the ugly war we should have never started, but are already knee deep in, and thus have to find some resolution to it because we can't ignore it. And last but certainly not least global warming, not everyone agrees that it exists, and hopefully enough people care about it to make changes long before it becomes realized by those non-believers in large scale devestation. (this would be when it is too late to reverse it)

    January 2, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. melissa

    here is a website that speaks about everything hillary has done here whole life. http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/firstladies/hc42.html

    January 2, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. rs, peoria, il

    January 1, 2008 12:23 pm ET

    In other "Making of the President 2008″ news, Mike Huckabee's dog doesn't much care for John Edwards' dog, who has lately been snippy with John McCain's dog. And all three run away just as fast as they can whenever Mitt Romney approaches.


    LOL! now that's funny.

    I want this guy to write all the CNN political ticker entries

    January 2, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Leigh

    Not to add to the comment clutter, but I want to say to you, "Well said!" This supposed conflict between Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Edwards is just another example of the "manufactured minutiae" we have to endure from the media. More people need to question what the media portrays as newsworthy; it's an insult to the American people.

    January 2, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  24. marcgagan

    Obama is getting campaign funding through people/supporters like you and me, from $24 +. so there is no point in arguing Obama has money..as this drills down who has more supporters and who is going to win. Clinton ..has money from lobbyists, Edwards..not much ..some borrowed money from fed.

    I prefer anyone of these over the bush like's or nixon likes. If people do want to accept a democrat, then I pray that to be Obama as he understands the pulse of young who are going to be affected in future as a result of current, pathetic politicians. He is realistic with values and good ideals. He does not shy away from his mistakes, or talk about faith, beyond the borders, family values, constitution, human compassion, globalization, etc., as he experienced the both sides of it.. some of it even before he knew the significance of word ' politics' in his life.

    Who ever feels edwards or clinton is better than obama.. so be it. however, they would definetly miss the oppurtunity to elect a person who is the pulse of this nation for today and tomorrrow.

    January 2, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Suzie

    ///////////////////////Nancy, Dallas TX January 2, 2008 1:12 am ET////////////////////////////quoting Nancy: My reply


    I beg to disagree. John Edwards does not have an iota of integrity as a candidate. His trying-to-get-elected message is totally incongruent with who he is. He is FOSTERING envy, resentment and divisiveness. I guarantee you with absolute assurrance that Edwards' concern for the working class is strictly limited to their votes. His message is an insult to voter intelligence, and anyone who believes it should put down the bong.

    I don't know what you think you know about Edwards or what you've been misinformationed(ha-ha) on, but I've watched Edwards for years. Before he ran with Kerry. He is a decent guy and the only times I've seen him speak are at the debates, because CNN has certainly not given him a chance. All I hear from them is Hitlery and Obuma. Please do not spread false information to me and others. It certainly won't wash with me, because John Edwards is a decent and honorable man. No his parents didn't "buy" his grades for him, he earned them and he earned his degree, unlike your Connecticutt preppie who stole the presidency from Gore. I hate the whole state of Texas for fostering the dumb son on this nation.

    January 2, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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