Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards took President Bush and Vice President Cheney to task Thursday on gay marriage, poverty, and other issues, using unusually harsh words at a forum that included undecided voters.
Edwards, responding to a question about the Democratic ticket's stance on civil unions, referenced Cheney's recent remarks that were supportive of gay rights. The North Carolina senator noted that "the vice president disagrees with the president on this." Referring to Cheney, Edwards said sarcastically, "Somebody forgot to tell him what he was supposed to say, I guess."
Edwards made his comments during a question-and-answer session before approximately 1,600 people at a forum for which the Kerry-Edwards campaign asked attendees to bring five undecided voters with them, part of a new national program called "Take Five."
Edwards noted that earlier in the day Thursday, he and Bush were within miles of each other in New Mexico on the same day that new Census numbers were released showing that the number of Americans living in poverty increased by 1.3 million last year, while the ranks of the uninsured swelled by 1.4 million. "It'd be interesting to hear what he had to say about these important issues," Edwards said. Pausing as the crowd roared, he added, "You just heard it. He remained completely silent."
And, Edwards said, Bush told New Mexico residents that "he wanted to be given four more years of George Bush and Dick Cheney so they could continue the good they're doing for America. I just don't know if Americans can take that kind of good anymore," Edwards quipped.
The Bush campaign chastised Edwards for his "cynical and sarcastic attacks."