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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

By Post Editor  |  September 8, 2007; 11:23 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , Candidates , Hillary Rodham Clinton , John Edwards  
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Comments

I'm voting for Edwards. I've been supporting him since January. I've been checking out all the candidates (Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Prohibition Party, Independent, and Peace and Freedom) since January as they systematically entered the race and dropped out, and I still think Edwards is the best candidate for me. I haven't seen him change his position on any subject he's brought up or has been dealt. I don't agree with every issue he supports, but I do on the majority of them. There isn't a candidate who's going to have the exact same views on every issue as every American Voter, but he had a plan before he entered the race and was one of the first if not the very first to enter and let everyone know what his plans were. I've seen the other democratic candidates change and modify their stands so they can appear they are as good if not better then him. We all need to vote for Edwards because if Hillary wins the Democratic Primary she will lose the General Election and most likely in my opinion John McCain will become our next President. The Republicans already know they are going to win the Presidency if Hillary wins the Democratic Primary. Putting Hillary in the race was part of the Republicans plan from the start. They want the Democrats to focus their votes on Hillary so the votes will be pulled away from Edwards and Obama. The Republicans want Hillary to win the Democratic Primary. Their betting on it. They also know she won't become President in the upcoming year because (1)Too many people don't want her (ALL parties combined), and (2)She has picked through the ideas of her counterparts to assemble what the American People Want To Hear. She knows, supports and is supported by too many people in Washington (and elsewhere) and most surely has the backing of special interest groups lobbying for her exposure so they can benefit from her grabbing the Democratic seat in the Primary, then discarding her in the General. The people who really run our government are hidden behind the scenes and will never reveal themselves. Politics is all about profit for them. This is a Chess Game for them and they know exactly when and where to move each piece. Granted, it would be great to see someone who could actually guide This Nation out of the rut it is in, but the People who Actually Control our Government from behind our Elected Officials will never let it happen. When the American People realize they are also being manipulated towards the direction to vote for certain individuals by the people really controlling our Government, then maybe we'll head in the right direction for our benefit. Drop Hillary. She's not getting her exposure from donations by the Average Joe. She's getting it from her own money and the money she gets from the loopholes created by our Government. Research Hillarys past before supporting her. Sure she's cast votes in support of things she now regrets just like the rest of us have. But don't let that soften your feelings about her and cause you to vote for her. She has a side we don't want to see. She's a very secret person. We need someone with a new direction and ideas. Don't allow her to pull your vote away from someone else in the Primary Election who really has the best chance of becoming our next President and doing some good for this Country. Please help by supporting John Edwards as I am. Thank you.

Posted by: tiwd | October 15, 2007 1:50 AM | Report abuse

It's shame that we have aligned ourselves against our own strategic national interests. We as Americans need to recognize that we are Americans ahead of our heritage or background. Only then will we be true Americans. It's un-American to Lobby for the benefit of any other country. We're being silence in our own country how can that be.... ------------> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=425

Posted by: PollM | September 10, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, right now Edwards is saying things that I like to hear, but I am still not 100% with him. I am going to take my time and these canidates had better realize that I will not just give them my vote just because they label themselves "democrat". Another thing that concerns me about Clinton is her stance on the outsourcing of American jobs. Remember, it was her husband BILL who signed NAFTA to begin with! Read the Sept 8 Washington Post for a "good" article about Clinton's buddies in India and the connections between the Tata Consulting Firm and Hillary & Bill Clinton.

Posted by: robpom | September 10, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I got tired yeara ago of voting against, or for the best of a bad lot. Just once, before I die, I would love to vote FOR a presidential candidate. Hillary is giving us the same old crap so my vote would go to either Edwards or Obama.

Posted by: casa.kelley | September 10, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Any senator can bring up a bill to make it illegal to make lobbyists and money that control the place totally illegal, but they dont't do it. We have to vote them out
to take Wtashington back any old senator that is in office for more than 12 years
vote him or she out, and bring the new with the prommise to stop lobbyists and money that control the place to be agains the law period. As I follow the illegal imigration bill and the way they tried to sneak it in even when most Americans are agains that bill, made me sick and show that the big companies do control the senate.It took most Americans to flow capitol hill with calls to stop it.

Posted by: chachi_001 | September 10, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I believe that John Edwards is the only realistic, viable alternative to another Republican Presidency. The past seven years have been disastrous enough. Edwards promises to beard the lions in their dens. I know all about promises, promises, promises, but at least Edwards has had the courage to distinguish the lions from the sheep.

Posted by: bigdave1 | September 10, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Peter - you are so right. Edwards' counter-terrorism plan and the CITO proposals are actually gaining traction among Republicans.

Edwards is able to bring together folks like environmentalists and the Union of Mine Workers, and we need this type of leadership - not just because this person can "win", but because we need them to govern once elected.

Frankly, I'm done with the Bush-style polarizing. I never want to see the Clinton-style triangulation again.

Time to move this country forward.

Posted by: grannyhelen | September 9, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Edwards' strength is his ability to articulate the rage that many Democrats feel about the both the current administration and the Clinton administration to really deliver for the middle class, particularly in the Purple and Magenta States where the election will be decided. If he can keep the pressure on, his endorsements may provide the gravitas of electablity required to win the primaries.

Peter S. Cohl
The Political Brandwagon

Posted by: pscohl | September 9, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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