ABC News’ Jordan Hultine Reports: Democratic Presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., spoke to a crowd of approximately 600 supporters, both young and old, at a unusual fundraising event in Washington, DC, Tuesday.
Edwards spoke on a wide range of issues, including: Iraq, genocide in Darfur, Aids in Africa, global warming, the Middle East, college loans, and healthcare.
On Iraq, Edwards reiterated his familiar refrain calling on Congress to stand-up to President Bush.
"We voted Congress in this last election because they had a mandate to end this war. The American people want to see this war brought to an end, they’ve made that absolutely clear," Edwards said, adding, "We need a Congress that will stand its ground against this President. This is not about politics, this is about life and death."
Edwards said he would close Guantanamo Bay on his first day in office to, "re-establish America as a source of good in the world."
On the Middle East where violence has increased the past several weeks. Edwards said, "We know that in the Middle East there are bad governments, bad leaders. They have absolutely no interest and no incentive in economic development, in educating their kids in political reform. Why? Because they’re on a drug – oil."
In front of a packed house of supporters who paid only $15, far less than the usual $2,300 a plate fundraisers Washington is accustomed to, Edwards called on America to lead the way in the fight against global poverty, global warming and ending the world’s dependence on oil.
After his remarks, Edwards worked the crowd, shaking hands and posing for pictures. When asked why events like the one held Tuesday were important, Edwards told ABC News, "They’re important because it builds ground up support which you need in a presidential race." Adding, "Plus, they’re fun."