Edwards Challenges Clinton on Peru Trade Deal

Nov 4, 2007 4:16pm

ABC News’ Raelyn Johnson Reports: Nearly a week after a confrontational debate appearance, former Sen. John Edwards D-N.C. threw new daggers today in his heightened attacks on Sen. Hillary Clinton D-N.Y.

Edwards, who has steadily criticized Clinton on her vote to label Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, today challenged Clinton to take a stand on the Peru trade deal. During a town hall in Charles City, Iowa on Sunday, Edwards slammed the proposal saying, "I think it just builds on the NAFTA model that has cost us so dearly."

"I think Sen. Obama is for it, that’s fine he’s entitled to his opinion," said Edwards. "But at least he’s taken a position. Senator Clinton I don’t think has taken a position one way or the other."

Having recently drawn distinction on Iraq, Iran and Social Security, Edwards challenge of Clinton on Peru is the latest effort to make the Democratic frontrunner appear as if she considers herself above the issues. It’s clear Edwards is capitalizing off of last Tuesday’s debate where Clinton took heat for not definitively stating where she stands on a plan backed by the New York governor to give drivers licenses to illegal immigrants.

In his 2004 campaign Edwards said he was against the politics of attacking his own party, but this cycle he describes his sharpened criticisms of his rivals as a way to highlight the choices voters have amongst the Democratic field.

On the Peru trade deal Edwards tried to stress the importance of the issue telling voters, "This is one of this issues where it’s important for you to know where we stand, because when you’re making your decision about what you’re going to do in the caucuses in January you need to know one way or the other where we stand."

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