[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/30/art.obamaedwards.ap.jpg caption="Obama praised Edwards in a statement Wednesday."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrat Barack Obama praised John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth Wednesday, in a statement issued shortly after news surfaced the former North Carolina senator plans to drop his presidential bid.
“John Edwards has spent a lifetime fighting to give voice to the voiceless and hope to the struggling, even when it wasn’t popular to do or covered in the news," he said. "At a time when our politics is too focused on who’s up and who’s down, he made a nation focus again on who matters – the New Orleans child without a home, the West Virginia miner without a job, the families who live in that other America that is not seen or heard or talked about by our leaders in Washington."
"John and Elizabeth Edwards have always believed deeply that we can change this – that two Americans can become one, and that our country can rally around this common purpose," Obama continued. "So while his campaign may end today, the cause of their lives endures for all of us who still believe that we can achieve that dream of one America."