Edwards criticized Karen Hughes, who had preceded her on the program, for "trying to paint a rosy picture." "You can't tell the American people that what they see every single day on this program, on other programs, what they read in the newspaper every day" is not happening. "This situation is worsening. He could use the $87 billion to train Iraqi forces and bring our men and women home, but he's not," Edwards said.
Edwards also criticized the Administration for what she described as failing to provide adequate protection for troops, saying military families "are really disturbed that this President has not really met the needs of our military men and women" and for sending them into battle "without having the protection they need." "My dad was in the military," Edwards said. "His commander in chief would never have sent him in without the protection he needed."
When Hill pointed out that neither John Edwards nor John Kerry voted for the military appropriations bill that paid for troops' protection in Iraq and Afghanistan, Edwards said, "The $87 billion was appropriated. You never should have sent them in there without adequate protection."
One of the "Moms on a Mission," Maura Satchell, said Bush had failed to explore diplomacy, "and I have no doubt that John Kerry, who served in the Senate for 20 years as well as had a father who was a diplomat… will have a shrewdness to lead our country."
On CNN's "American Morning," Elizabeth Edwards accused Bush of trying to reduce hazardous duty pay while the troops were in the field.
BILL O'REILLY ON ABC & FNC:
Bill O'Reilly appeared on "Good Morning America" and said to Charlie Gibson if he could prove President Bush's campaign put the "Mission Accomplished" sign up, "then you've got him. But h'e soing to say that I did this for the troops. And he's not going to say anything else. You can hit him, you can shake him, you can jump on him -- that's what he's going to say."
On "Fox and Friends" O'Reilly tried to explain "This is one of the simplest elections… You either believe President Bush when things will get better, or you don't." He added on GMA that "undecideds are waiting for a better idea from Kerry. If they don't heart it, they're more likely to go with the optimistic President Bush."
BUSH'S AIRCRAFT CARRIER ANSWER:
NBC's Norah O'Donnell wrapped Monday's news. Bush's answer to Bill O'Reilly's aircraft carrier question was replayed. It was treated wholly negative, with O'Donnell derisively referring to it as a "Top Gun" landing.
ABC's Dan Harris took a more critical look at Kerry's criticism of Bush's O'Reilly interview, reporting that Bush never actually said "Mission Accomplished" on the Abraham Lincoln, nor did he specifically address the Mission Accomplished sign in his O'Reilly interview (since O'Reilly took the sign itself off the table). Harris closed by saying that an old Kerry friend believes Kerry must learn how to speak to the Walmart crowd during the debate.
In his package CBS' Jim Axelrod included video of Kristin Breitweister, the widow of a Sept. 11 victim who helped create the 9/11 Commission, saying "forgive me for voting for President Bush" during an Edwards rally yesterday.