Clinton Speaks on Edwards and Arkansas

Jan 30, 2008 3:51pm

ABC News’ Kate Snow and Eloise Harper Report: Senator Hillary Clinton says she’s not seeking Sen. John Edwards’ endorsement but she’d be glad to have his supporters.

"I have not because I think this up to Senator Edwards," she said of a potential endorsement.

Speaking to reporters following an event in Little Rock, Arkansas, Clinton said she wanted to express her "appreciation and admiration" for the North Carolina senator.

"I want to wish John and Elizabeth well and thank him for running a great campaign and it was really important to millions and millions of Americans," she said.

Clinton added Edwards’ campaign brought important issues to the forefront.

"We are all as Democrats committed to make sure poverty remains on the agenda…[and] once we take back the White House, to address the needs of people who are invisible," she said.

The New York senator said she would leave the analysis about the impact of Edwards’ departure from the race to pundits, but she said she was not concerned about a potential Obama endorsement of Edwards.

"This is up to Senator Edwards to decide how he’s going to participate if at all in the upgoing campaign," she replied.

Clinton last spoke with Edwards this morning.

Clinton was also asked if she saw a division between her supporters and Obama’s supporters.  Did she think it was a fair characterization to say that Obama supporters were deciding with their "hearts" while her supporters were deciding with their "heads"?

"I ask them to vote both," Clinton replied.  She said she offered an "integrated view" and reminded reporters that "electing a woman would be a tremendous change."

The event in Little Rock was something of a homecoming for Clinton.

"This is like being at home," she said as she took the stage in the center of a basketball court at North Little Rock High School, surrounded on all sides by Arkansans.

"We’re gonna have a conversation today. And I am thrilled to have so many of my friends with me today."

"I am really having a lot of flashbacks here because there are so many stories that come flooding into my mind," Clinton reminisced. 

She told stories of living in Arkansas and bragged about knowing its country roads and towns.  She recalled being married in Fayetteville and giving birth to her daughter at a nearby hospital.

Then Clinton launched into her standard stump speech—with talk about eliminating poverty, creating new energy sources, ending the war in Iraq, improving education and access to college loans.

"Think how many teachers we’re losing because they can’t afford to go into teaching," she said of graduating students who struggle to re-pay student loan debts.

Clinton did not mention her remaining rival by name. The speech was almost entirely about her record.

And her signature lines from days before the loss in South Carolina– about "working for change" instead of just "hoping for it,"  about "false hopes," or not "taking a chance" — were all missing. 

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