AP: Democrat John Edwards took a new slap at presidential rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on the issue of Iran on Monday, but sidestepped a question on whether he thinks the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is a terrorist organization. The Associated Press
By AMY LORENTZEN
Associated Press Writer
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – Democrat John Edwards took a new slap at presidential rival Hillary Rodham Clinton on the issue of Iran on Monday, but sidestepped a question on whether he thinks the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is a terrorist organization.
Edwards told reporters after a campaign event in eastern Iowa that he and his presidential rival agree the election is about change. But he added, “I think if you defend the system in Washington, you’re for the status quo; if you want to continue the occupation in Iraq, you’re for the status quo, and if you’re not willing to stand up to Bush and Cheney on Iran, that’s the status quo.”
Edwards has repeatedly criticized Clinton for voting for a Senate resolution in September that declared the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Edwards maintains that vote has allowed President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to “rattle the sabers” of war concerning Iran.
When asked whether he believed the Iranian Guard to be a terrorist organization, Edwards answered instead how he felt about the Senate vote.
“There was no reason for the Senate to vote on the question to begin with,” he said. “I think it was a mistake. I would have voted no had I been in the Senate, and I think it’s very important … to show real strength against Bush and Cheney on this particular issue.”
When a reporter told Edwards that rival Barack Obama has said he would have voted against the resolution even though he believes the Iranian Guard is a terrorist organization, Edwards responded: “I stand by what I said.”
The former North Carolina senator was joined at the event in Davenport and Iowa City by singer-songwriters Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne.
The musicians kicked off the event playing guitars and singing songs including “I Am a Patriot,” with lyrics of “And I ain’t no Democrat, and I ain’t no Republican, I only know one party, and it is freedom.”
Raitt, who embraced Edwards when he took the stage, told the crowd that this is “the most important election cycle of my lifetime.”
Before the duo played Raitt’s hit song, “Thing Called Love,” she said, “I’m ready for a thing called Edwards love, that’s what I’m ready for.”
At a later stop in Iowa city, Edwards said the war is costing American families too much. Based on a controversial report by congressional Democrats, Edwards said that if troops stay in Iraq for the next decade, the war would cost a family of four more than $37,000. That’s more than an undergraduate education at the University of Iowa, he said.
Edwards wants up to 50,000 troops immediately pulled from Iraq, and says if elected he’d withdraw all combat forces within about 10 months. He’s consistently criticized Clinton for her unwillingness to set a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops.
“To me that’s a continuation of the war and a continuation of the occupation, and we must end this occupation and we must end this war,” Edwards said.
Meanwhile, a new Washington Post/ABC poll shows Edwards continuing in third place in Iowa, behind Obama and Clinton. It shows Obama with 30 percent support among likely Democratic caucus-goers, Clinton with 26 percent and Edwards with 22 percent.
On the Net:
John Edwards: http://johnedwards.com/