Edwards: Bush Worse than Nixon


"If I were in the Senate, I would vote for censure," over that controversy, Edwards said. "Again, I don't think this is where I'd spend my energy, but if I had an up-or-down vote, I'd vote for it."

But for the most part, the one-term senator, who retired from the Senate to run for president, seemed relieved to be without a vote in Congress.

"I just think that if you don't live in Washington -- which I don't anymore, thank goodness; I live here in North Carolina -- … for me, it gives me a completely different perspective."

Edwards endorsed the Kennedy-McCain approach to immigration -- "earned citizenship" and increased border protection. He suggested raising the minimum wage, expanding the earned income tax credit, and strengthening organized labor as the keys to a better economy. His main focus these days, however, is education.

In Snow Hill, N.C., to deliver $300,000 in college scholarships to seniors at Greene Central High School, Edwards told Stephanopoulos, "Any kid here who graduates from high school qualified to go to college, willing to work at least 10 hours a week the first year they're in school, we pay for their tuition and books."

Edwards would like to take this plan, which debuted as a campaign proposal during his failed 2004 presidential bid, and his anti-poverty campaign nationwide.

"I think you have to convince the country that it's [the] moral and just thing to do," he said. But he acknowledged, "I don't think [Americans are] completely there. I think that in their conscience inside they're there, but they haven't had any leadership. No one has ever made them think about it."

As to whether he might be the one to press such an agenda in the 2008 presidential campaign, Edwards said, "I'm thinking about it, and I'm very seriously considering it. I just haven't made a final decision.

"[I] don't have a time frame," he added, "but can't wait too long."

Edwards said he might not run if his wife's health problems flared up. Elizabeth Edwards, the former senator's wife of 29 years, was diagnosed with breast cancer on Nov. 3, 2004, the day that Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Edwards conceded defeat to the Bush-Cheney team.

"She's doing great," Edwards said. "All the tests are good, and they're very encouraging. But we have young children, Emma Claire and Jack, and the health of Elizabeth and how my family's doing would have to be at the front of anything."

Edwards said his losses as a presidential and vice presidential candidate in 2004 -- his only losses in a short, but meteoric political career -- may have affected his outlook.

"In honesty," Edwards said, "going through a campaign has a natural maturation process. I mean, it changes you. It changes the way you see things. It changes how you feel about your own views and your willingness to stand with them, no matter what kind of opposition or unpopularity they have. I think it just gives you a different perspective."

If he does run, Edwards said the possibility of opposition from Kerry or Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., in a 2008 Democratic primary would not faze him.

Calling Clinton a "formidable candidate", Edwards said, "I just think that anybody who suggests, particularly now … that you can predict what's going to happen is just living in never, never land."

George Stephanopoulos' entire interview with former senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards can be viewed at "This Week's" Web page at www.abcnews.com.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 1985018.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...