ABC News Interview With Elizabeth Edwards

ABC News' Bill Weir spoke with Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards, on "Good Morning America's" weekend edition.

The following in an unedited excerpt from the interview that aired on "GMA" on Oct. 23, 2004.

Bill Weir: I looked back at some old campaign ads -- saw Jackie Onassis doing a, a spot in Spanish, to reach out to Hispanic voters.

(Both speak at once.)

Elizabeth Edwards: Yes.

Weir: -- and Nancy Reagan, going after Jimmy Carter, and what not. Do you think voters make their decisions based at all on the spouse in addition to the candidate?

Edwards: They shouldn't. (Laughs) They shouldn't make their decisions -- the people who are going to run the country, you know, and, and work for us every day --the, the president and the vice president, should be the people that people concentrate on -- that voters concentrate on. That doesn't mean that we don't have a role -- and -- in talking about these, these men's values, their priorities, their plans -- we do. I mean we know them better than anyone else. And -- and I think I'm a window to - I know -- to my husband and then I guess to my -- to John Kerry's judgment about -- about what, what these people stand for.

Weir: But if you have a strong marriage -- you've been married for 26--?

Edwards :27!

Weir: -- 27 years.

(Both speak at once.)

Edwards: Yeah. Yes. Want to get credit for every one of 'em.


Weir: Don't want to sell you short -- it seems, though, impossible to separate yourself from him. You're a smart former lawyer, very interested in politics as well, so -- we can assume that you will have some influence on your husband in terms of policy, that Teresa Heinz Kerry will have some influence on her husband -- is that an unfair assumption?

Edwards: I think that -- we'll probably operate the way we always have, and that is that we talk about things. But one of the things that happens in a, in a marriage -- you might argue about one thing or another, but the truth of the matter is if they're the guy who gets to vote, they get to win those arguments... And -- but ultimately it's John Kerry's decision and John Edwards' decision -- not Teresa's or mine.

Weir: Talk about your relationship with Teresa.

Edwards: I've gotten enormous respect for this woman who would be our most generous first lady ever.

Weir: I must ask you about her statement this week when she said I don't know if Laura Bush has ever had a real job. I'm just wondering what your reaction was when you heard that.

Edwards: I think that Laura Bush was very gracious about it and -- and as far as I'm concerned it's, it's over.

Weir: OK. Let's talk about another topic of the day -- have -- have you or Jack or Emma Claire been able to get a flu vaccine?

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