Edwards Hits Hard at Clinton Over Lobbying
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards launched his most direct criticism of rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday, saying that her defense of lobbyists and contributions from lobbyists disqualifies her from arguing that she can make the system in Washington work.
"Look, Senator Clinton is right -- you cannot pretend the system doesn't exist," Edwards said in Nashua, N.H. "But you also can't pretend that it works. And that's where she and I part company."
The former North Carolina senator was keying off Clinton's campaign trip to New Hampshire last Sunday, when she argued that she has learned the only way to bring real change in politics is through the constitutional system. "You can't pretend the system doesn't exist," she said.
Edwards said that system "is rigged against regular Americans, whose interests and concerns don't stand a chance against the onslaught of lobbyists and money that control the place." He added, "There is no principled compromise between the way things have always been and the way things could be."
Clinton spokesman Phil Singer deflected Edwards's attack, saying, "Voters aren't looking for which Democrat can launch the angriest attacks on other Democrats. They are looking for the candidate with the strength and experience to bring real change to Washington on Day One, and that's Hillary Clinton."
Edwards seized on the failed health care initiative that Clinton led during her husband's administration as proof that the system is broken. He again called on all Democrats to forgo money from Washington lobbyists. Clinton takes such money and has refused to stop.
Edwards spoke after receiving the endorsement of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
-- Dan Balz
September 8, 2007; 11:23 PM ET
Categories: A_Blog , Candidates , Hillary Rodham Clinton , John Edwards
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