ABC News’ Sunlen Miller Reports: In an interview in August’s edition of The Progressive magazine, Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Senator John Edwards, D-N.C., takes candid shots at the other candidates battling for the Democratic nomination against her husband.
"The problem for me with the other candidates is I don’t know what it is that drives them," she explained, "I should think the president has to be somebody who has that kind of vision outside themselves."
Mrs. Edwards praised her husband for apologizing for his vote in favor of the Iraq War, and questioned Senator Hillary Clinton’s, D-N.Y., for not doing the same.
"She even, in the New Hampshire debate said, ‘I made a mistake.’ People are looking for a mea culpa from her. And when she buried a line like that –- I give her credit for saying that –- but when she buries that line… we’re electing a leader of the free world, and just like the votes on this last funding bill, we’re looking for a leader," Edwards contended.
And while Senator Barack Obama, D-Ill., was in the Illinois state legislature and not the Senate in 2003, Mrs. Edwards equally questioned his motives.
"Obama gives a speech that’s likely to be extraordinarily popular in his home district," Edwards said, "and then comes to the Senate and votes for funding… so you are going to get people behaving in a holier-than-thou way."
Mrs. Edwards was similarly no-holds-barred on the issue of health care.
"Hillary is saying we need to develop a political will," Mrs. Edwards stated, referencing her personal battle with cancer and the stories she’s heard from other patients who can’t afford health care, "She hasn’t been talking to people if she thinks we need to develop it. We do not."
Taking aim at Obama, Mrs. Edwards continued, "I don’t know why it took six months, but I’m glad he has a (health care) plan now. It doesn’t cover fifteen million people. If you’re one of those fifteen million, it’s not universal for you. The fact that he says he’ll fix it later, that’s not the kind of bold response we need on a problem that is important to America."
Mrs. Edwards added that any divide in the Democratic party this year among the candidates is the difference between "actual Democrats and rhetorical Democrats."
"Sometimes it seems we have these beliefs but it turns out it’s like a Hollywood set: It’s a facade and there’s no guts behind it," Mrs. Edwards asserts in the interview, "You listen to the language of what people say, particularly Obama, who seems to be using a lot of John’s 2004 language, which is maybe not surprisingly since one of his speechwriters was one of our speechwriters, his media guy was our media guy. These people know John’s mantra as well as anybody could know it."
"They’ve moved from ‘hope is on the way’," the potential first lady concluded, "to the ‘audacity of hope’. I’m constantly hearing things in a familiar tone."