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

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. SusieQ

    Elizabeth – Thank you for the fact that you and your husband understand reality on all issues. All your points are valid. This is a real scary election as the outcome will determine some of these issues in a more positive or very negative way. If the elected officials would only make a decision instead of putting this off, it would help everyone in the country.

    April 21, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  2. Rosa Birmingham, AL

    Of course he had to bring up that he was a prisoner of war even though it had nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    Is that how he is going to solve problems? "Oh I was a prisoner of war, next subject..."

    The man is just dangerous. Ok to spend trillion of dollars in Iraq but heaven forbid that we spend something here on education, health care or science research. In the meantime, Asia is becoming the next economic super power.

    April 21, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. Geoff, NH

    Hey "The Solution is Simple" are you insane? Americans pay some of the lowest taxes in the western world, which while in itself is no bad thing, we in turn get considerably less services from our government. If you want to dish out your conservative nonsense, think before you speak, and look up your facts before making yourself look like a fool

    April 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    John McCain is not a very nice guy. He really is not.

    April 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. KiloWhiskey

    Elizabeth who? Oh, the wife of the loser Edwards. And why should we pay any attention to the loser, let alone his wife?

    I wish I was rich enough to be a liberal democrat.

    April 21, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |

    Here we go again! McCain is an evil acting man and he is easy to anger. Like Hillary Clinton the two of them have let their horns show. They are candidates that pull and use the race card at random and at will. I an ashamed that we can stoop so low. They both are putting their parties in ruin especially Senator Clinton. She doesn't truly care about the Democratic Party and pulling all the stops. McCain is jabbing the conservatives and pulling no stops. They are both on both sides of the fence and don't know how to tell the truth about where they truly stand on issues. I HOPE SENATOR OBAMA WINS just if nothing but to show them that we (whites) are not always right and have to win at the cost of the Party or the People.

    Redan, GA

    April 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  7. Jim

    John McCain is most certainly a war hero. WAR hero. Hundred years of WAR. WAR WAR WAR. Got war? Vote John for more war McCain if you want to spend three trillion dollars a year (of American taxpayers dollars) fighting wars. McCain wants war. OR, alternatively, if you believe in a more civilized form of existence, vote for a Democrat. Let's put that money into healthcare, so that more people can live healthy, happy lives. Let's not spend it on dropping bombs. Vote DEMOCRAT.

    April 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. Susan MO

    John & Elizabeth are good people.

    John is one of the best in politics.

    April 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. Jim i Phoenix

    Ms edwards is married to a doctor. What better care does she want when she gets a hangnail.

    Anyone who serves their country deserve the best healthcare available , remember they keep you safe so you can say stupid things

    April 21, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. Serg

    Well,now McCain wants to see all Americans "not covered",just because some six years he was so?
    And... I just want to know, what is so heroic in been captured by enemies?

    April 21, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. NW Independent

    With 60% of our federal tax dollars going to entitlements now do we really need another entitlement that will push taxes higher and make that percentage even higher?

    I say we make sure that children and the disabled are covered and concentrate on the high cost of healthcare caused by litigation and drug costs. Of these one lobby has the Democrats in thier pocket and the other has the Republicans.

    How likely is it we will see anything done?

    April 21, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  12. NW Independent

    With both parties in the pockets of lobbyist, John McCain is the only one with any kind of a record that suggests he will ignore them and work toward a solution.

    April 21, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  13. Baby Boomer

    During thoses six years did his family have government healthcare ? You bet they did and it was paid for by the taxpayers.

    April 21, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Farren Ballanst

    John McCain doesn't need healthcare. He and Cindy can just stel more drugs from their "charity."

    April 21, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. common sense

    McCain is a patriot and a proud American who's sacrifice for this country cannot be completely measured....

    That said, his answer for EVERYTHING cannot be " but I was a prisoner of war" You can only milk that cow so many times a day.

    April 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Farren Ballanst


    April 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. A.J. in FLA

    To the young American comment: I have some advise for you summarized in one simple word, FIBER

    April 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  18. mimi de la cruz





    April 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. Danny

    Who care Mrs. Edwards just shut-up do your job your guy done, time's run
    out no more chance.

    April 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  20. Bruce, Los Angeles, CA

    It is even scarier that people like "tom, los angeles, ca" are eligible to vote. He missed the entire point. The fundamental difference is that Democrats think government knows best how to deliver health care; the Republicans think consumers (and the market) know best. We need another huge bureaucratic government giveaway program like we need a hole in the head. McCain's solution of tax credits is wise and a decent first step. Allowing consumers to buy prescription drugs from other countries is also prudent. Forcing everyone to pay for government-run health care is NOT wise.

    April 21, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. Tom

    Elizabeth Edwards is a virulent, militant Marxist fundamentalist who knows absolutely nothing about health care.

    April 21, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. Byron Tuggle, Montrose, CA

    This is more of the same. I'm a Vietnam combat veteran who had the VA hospital in San Diego tell me that my hip was damaged in Vietnam. However, they didn't have the budget for my hip replacement. I used personal insurance to get the hip fully replaced to only find out I'm no longer insurable. Bottom line, VA sent me letter, while I already had the VA card, that I can not use their services. As far as I'm concerned the chatter about health insurance, from both sides can be smelled in a Texas cow pasture.

    April 21, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  23. Jason

    Him being in a POW camp is his answer for everything.

    Obama for President!

    April 21, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  24. Sam in Ohio

    Elizabeth Edwards needs to sit on the porch in North Carolina with her loser husband. Even with his great healthcare plan he got nowhere in the democratic primaries.

    April 21, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  25. Rick

    It brings up a good point. For those politicians who don't think we should have universal healthcare, should they be entitled to taxpayer funded healthcare for themselves? Congress always takes care of itself first and the country second.

    For a multimillionaire like McCain, it would have been good politics for him to say right from the beginning of his service in 1983 that he'll buy his own health insurance rather than hav ing the taxpayers pay for it. At least Clinton and Obama walk the walk. They accept government healthcare, but they support at least some version of universal healthcare. McCain, by his actions, is saying "I deserve what I'm telling you that you don't deserve." That is more elitist than anything Obama said.

    April 21, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
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