January 25th, 2008
02:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Edwards: South Carolina's too good attack politics

(CNN) - At a Friday campaign event, John Edwards criticized his “squabbling” Democratic opponents for bringing their brand of brass-knuckle, big-city politics to South Carolina – a state long noted for its rough-and-tumble primary season.

“Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama have brought their New York- and Chicago-style politics to South Carolina. Fighting with each other, tearing each other down,” Edwards said at a campaign stop in Greenville. “But South Carolina’s better than that, and you deserve better than that.”

Following Monday’s tough Democratic primary debate, Edwards has positioned himself as the above-the-fray candidate in his party’s presidential field, telling another Greenville audience Thursday night that he represented the “grown-up wing of the Democratic Party,” and releasing a new 30-second television and radio spot in the state Friday – titled “Grown Up” – that emphasizes the same theme.

The former senator, who is running a distant third in most recent polls in his birth state of South Carolina, is also planning to air the ad in the Super Tuesday states that head to the polls February 5. The South Carolina Democratic primary is tomorrow, January 26.

Related: Watch Jessica Yellin's one-on-one intervew with John Edwards

–CNN Producer Dugald McConnell

Filed under: John Edwards • South Carolina
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. LisaMpls

    Oh Edwards, you are learning aren't you: the only way to get media attention is to call out the other two candidates. Yes, you took the moral high ground when the other two were bickering, but you can only ride that out for so long. It is time to run on the issues and run on your own policies, not theirs.

    January 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  2. M

    Chief, well said.

    January 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  3. wayne, kentucky

    Edwards is the candidate with great leadership and integrity.

    January 25, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. Greg

    What a hypocrite. In previous debates he attacked Clinton and Obama just as much if not more than they are fighting now. I specifically remember him getting booed by Nevada voters for his negative attacks. The voters rejected his attacks so now he's above them. Give me a break.

    January 25, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. Freedom

    I'm above the fray just like Edwards, and that's because nobody knows me and Hillary has not attacked me. I think I'm on the same level with Edwards, he should get out of the race already!

    January 25, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. BAFO

    Who is Senator Edward fooling? You don't get to be a successful trial lawyer by playing soft and above the frails! Sounds to me like a fox is attempting to wear sheep clothing! My advice Senator Edwards? Stay true to who you are! Running a distant third to Clinton and Obama should not change your style, which is combative by nature!

    January 25, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. capsaicin

    how exactly does going around calling himself the only grown-up in the race, smugly accusing the other two of being children, constitute staying above the fray?

    wouldn't staying above the fray be continuing to campaign as usual and not making those kinds of attacks?

    January 25, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  8. Truethis

    He's coming off desperate. I liked him but I wish he would have change his message a long time ago.

    January 25, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. JB

    My sense is that Edwards will lose S. Carolina but he won't get crushed. I wouldn't be surprised if he polled in the low- to- mid-20s, benefiting from all this media hoopla over Obama and Hillary. That will be enough to keep him around, and his supporters will have to wait until Super Tuesday for the big wake up.

    January 25, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  10. Angela

    It always comes down to this type of campaigning and the end.
    Nobodies hands are clean if your in politics.
    Not even St. Obama with his fortune cookie message. "Your life can change." Really??? How????

    Hillary/Edwards. I can only hope.

    January 25, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  11. mr.fair tax


    January 25, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |


    RIGHT on day one!!!!

    OBAMA '08

    January 25, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  13. Lisa

    Edwards was saying Obama was "too nice" to get things done in WA, and that he as a career aggressive attorney could fight to force people to get things done which he said was the only way to do it. Now he sees people are sick of the fighting, and he wants to be the one above it? What ever happen to the platform he was repeating over and over again about he being the only one capable of fighting? I think Edwards is trying to say anything to get attention.

    January 25, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  14. Democrat in MO

    Well, I like JE but he did not really participate in the Debate because nobody was looking at time. He is not the Uniter we need. He should not get too rancid with his remarks ... if he would have to face the Clinton Fraud Machine he would have to speak up in the debates as well.


    January 25, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  15. B.C. in Virginia

    Edwards-the only Democrat that could win the general election. Too bad so many liberals are incapable of realizing this. I guess I'll be gearing up for another four to eight of Republican "leadership".

    January 25, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  16. Jeanie

    I like Edwards but, I'm going with Obama.

    January 25, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  17. AJ, IL

    Most Americans have a short-term political memory of two weeks. They see the Clinton-Obama spat as the dominant political back-and-forth. Edwards was the first and most consistent candidate to "attack" Hillary on the campaign trail. His finishes in New Hampshire and Nevada confirmed that his ground support is small. He has benefited the most from the Obama-Clinton spat in SC. If Edwards doesn't win SC, he is definitely out of the race. If you can't win in your backyard with your neighbors voting, he can't win anywhere.

    January 25, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  18. Hello

    Obama for President....Huckabee for Vice President


    January 25, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  19. mr.fair tax


    January 25, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  20. Dorothy

    I do not understand why folks do not see in Edwards , what I see. He is for the working folks, talks from the heart. You have to look through all the crap and see what the issues you want and no go with the flow. I think he would be good for this country and the working folks that kicked in the teeth all the time and I have no doubt he would take on the large cooperations or least try.
    I must be missing something

    January 25, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  21. abu

    hallo there my name is abub, and i am 25 years old who live Boise, Idaho, who had never join politics but my view of choosing the right candidate is Obama, because we America specially young men and young woman choose old presidents many times but non of them ever kind for us, but in this election we have our own choice to elect who will bring peace and bring together as one world.not a war all the time i individually choose Obama as president.

    January 26, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  22. abu


    January 26, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  23. ames

    Obama rox!

    January 26, 2008 04:39 am at 4:39 am |

    BILL-ARY at it's best, HRC calls out the slum lord…opps she was doesn't remember taking the picture AT A FUNDRASIER FOR THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Bill-Ary has made race and gender an issue in SC, to SCARE all the KOOLAID drinkers away from a man who kept RACE OUT of the the campaign. To ensure he doesn't remind us the 40% of Americans said they WOULD NOT VOTE FOR BILL-ARY BEFORE THE ELECTION, AFTER THE ELECTION BILL-ARY WANTS TO MAKE SURE HE PANDERS…JUST A BIT. If ONE COUPLE could do this kind of damage to THEIR OWN PARTY…IMAGINE WHAT THEY WOULD DO TO THIS COUNTRY??????????

    OBAMA 08

    January 26, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  25. Tom, Boston MA

    The clintons are Not from NY or Chicago, but their power and money bases are in NY & Chicago.

    January 26, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
1 2 3