[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/04/09/art.edwardswave0409.gi.jpg caption="John and Elizabeth Edwards are joined by their children in New Orleans as Edwards announced the end of his presidential campaign in January."]
(CNN) – Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards, is picking sides in the Democratic nomination race – at least with respect to health care. In an interview that aired Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” she threw her support behind Sen. Hillary Clinton’s health care plan.
“In order to ensure that we have universal coverage, we need to say everybody has to join,” Edwards told ABC’s Robin Roberts. “So, for that reason, the mandates that Sen. Clinton is talking about, I think are going to be more successful in achieving the goal,” she added.
Both health care plans have the same goals, said Edwards, but “I just have more confidence in Sen. Clinton’s policies than Sen. Obama’s on this particular issue.”
Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama remain in a pitched battle for the Democration nomination and the difference in their respective health care plans on the issue of individual coverage mandates – Clinton’s plan requires them across-the-board while Obama’s plan only mandates coverage for children – is one of only a few policy distinctions between them, a difference Clinton has stressed in debates and on the stump.
Elizabeth Edwards, a cancer survivor, has made positive comments about Clinton’s health care plan before, even noting last September that it resembles her husband’s own proposal. She has also criticized Sen. John McCain’s proposal for permitting insurance companies to deny coverage for preexisting conditions. John Edwards, who ended his presidential bid in late January, had made the issue a central one in his campaign.
Despite being lobbied by both Clinton and Obama, John Edwards has yet to make an endorsement. “We think that what we have to offer is not so much an endorsement as a perspective on what we’ve found as we’ve crossed the country on what people think are important issues and the solutions that seemed most realistic,” said Elizabeth Edwards Wednesday.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Chris Dodd both endorsed Obama after ending their presidential campaigns while Sen. Joe Biden, like Edwards, still has not endorsed one of the two remaining Democratic presidential hopefuls.
–CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart