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Edwards backs his
wife's criticism of Clinton, Obama

Edwards backs his
wife's criticism of Clinton, Obama

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards on the trail Wednesday in South Carolina stood by his wife's criticism of rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, saying her comments are consistent with what he has said in presidential debates.

In an interview published in the August issue of The Progressive magazine, Elizabeth Edwards criticized Obama as ''holier-than-thou'' on the Iraq war and said the Illinois senator and Clinton failed to show leadership on cutting funding for the war.

Obama, she said, ''gives a speech that's likely to be extraordinarily popular in his home district, and then comes to the Senate and votes for funding.... So you are going to get people behaving in a holier-than-thou way.''

In a phone interview Wednesday with the Associated Press, Edwards said he had said as much himself.

''You can look back at what I said in the New Hampshire debate totally independent of Elizabeth about this subject. My belief is that the Congress has a responsibility--they actually have a mandate--to force George Bush's hand on a different course in Iraq. I think that means using their constitutional authority to fund to ensure that any bill that goes to the president has a timetable for withdrawal. I've said that all along and I stand by it,'' said Edwards, the former North Carolina senator.

At a debate in June, Edwards accused Obama and Clinton of being passive and cautious on urgent issues, such as Iraq, health care, and gay rights. ''The job of the president of the United States is not to legislate but to lead,'' he said at the time. (AP)

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