April 21st, 2008
05:37 PM ET
15 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards responds to McCain over 'cheap shot'

(CNN) - Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, is tangling with John McCain’s campaign again – this time in a war of words with the candidate himself.

In an interview on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, the presumptive Republican nominee told George Stephanopoulos that Elizabeth Edwards had taken a “cheap shot” at him by saying that he had enjoyed government healthcare for his entire life – and that all Americans should be able to choose from the same insurance options available to members of Congress and military personnel.

“It’s a cheap shot but I did have a period of time where I didn’t have very good healthcare, I had it from another government,” said McCain, referring to the years he spent as a prisoner of war. “Look, I know what it’s like not to have healthcare.”

And when laying out his policy disputes with Democrats over the issue, he added, “in all due respect to Elizabeth Edwards.”

Edwards – now a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress –responded Monday in a post on the Wonk Room blog.

“Sen. McCain noted that he was not receiving government health care for the six years he was in captivity. That is true,” she wrote. “But it has nothing to do with my point — which is that the problem with Sen. McCain’s health care plan is not how it affects us –- but how it affects the tens of millions of Americans with preexisting conditions who, unlike Sen. McCain and myself, do not have the resources to pay for quality health care.”

Both McCain and Edwards have suffered from cancer.

“That is not a cheap shot, it is a potentially life and death question for tens of million of Americans. And it is a question Sen. McCain must address.”

Several weeks ago, Edwards and McCain adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin gave warring interviews over several days on the same topic

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soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. AA For Change

    Elizabeth should run for office... We democrats need another idiot!

    April 21, 2008 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  2. puzzled

    Dear Mr. Obama,

    Could you actually be specific about just what this "Change" you talk about will entail? While you're at it can you give us three real and significant examples of how you actually "united" anyone? I've been waiting since January to have someone give an example of either but have seen nothing yet.

    I'm not a McCain supporter in the least but over the years it seems he's reached over the aisles in the Senate more than ANY other Republican. Isn't that what a "uniter" does. I don't recall hearing about anything you've done during your time in the Senate.

    I think it was Ben Franklin who said something to the effect, "Well done is always better than well said."

    April 21, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  3. Remi

    In the statement that Senator McCain made, is he likening torture to the millions of Americans today without health care?

    Is this not the reason why we should have universal health care for all Americans? the same level of care that is available to members of congress? We are a country that does not torture, right?

    April 21, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  4. Dave

    If universal healthcare was a right the founding fathers would have set up a government healthcare system. Of course the founders never believed that the government should have its hands in every facet of the peoples lives. They also believed in personal accountability. The housing market and the economy in general wouldn't be in the sad shape it was if people were held accountable for their own decisions instead of being bailed out by the government every time they make a stupid decision.

    April 21, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  5. aliou salam, Jacksonville FL

    You are right Lizzy. Call Obama.

    April 21, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  6. JC

    The free market health insurance policy does not work well, because we, individuals have much less negotiation power than the big insurance corporations. I am under a top of the line insurance policy, but the insurance company is making every possible effort to delay payments by all tactics. They kept on sending you letters asking you if you have a secondary insurer, instead of paying the bills. They love you when you are healthy and give them money. When you need to use the service for health care, they will give you a hard time.

    This is no free market. There are too few insurance companies to compete against one another. Their lobbyists have better access to our congressman and women or president, whom we elected into office, than we do.

    April 21, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  7. JC

    You cannot serve the country first and the lobbyists second.
    We should get rid of those lobbyists, period.

    April 21, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  8. Mauri

    I admire Elizabeth Edwards and her stand on Hillary Clinton's health care plan. There are so many more areas where Senator Clinton outshines Obama in their bid for the presidency. Her ad showing all the catastrophic things that have and can happen to our great country is right on the mark. I'm sure she would welcome the endorsement from the Edwards to go along with the over thirty generals and other military officers who are in her corner.

    April 21, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
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