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Elizabeth Edwards
talks of Clinton "hatred"

Elizabeth Edwards
talks of Clinton "hatred"

Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, says ''hatred'' of his rival Hillary Rodham Clinton would motivate Republicans to vote against her in the general election.

''I want to be perfectly clear: I do not think the hatred against Hillary Clinton is justified,'' Elizabeth Edwards said in an interview with Time magazine, out this week. ''I don't know where it comes from. I don't begin to understand it. But you can't pretend it doesn't exist, and it will energize the Republican base. Their nominee won't energize them, Bush won't, but Hillary as the nominee will. It's hard for John to talk about, but it's the reality.''

Responding to Mrs. Edwards, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said polls show that Clinton will be a strong opponent against the Republicans seeking the presidency.

''Senator Clinton leads all the leading Republicans in national and key swing state polls because Americans know she is the Democrat with the strength and experience to bring real change,'' Singer said.

Elizabeth Edwards has become the voice for many criticisms of her husband's leading rivals. She has suggested that Obama and his campaign plagiarized material from Edwards's 2004 presidential campaign and criticized Obama for opposing the Iraq war but voting for the funding, saying that he's been ''behaving in a holier-than-thou way.''

But many of her criticisms have been aimed at Clinton. She's criticized her for not having the ''political will'' to enact universal health care. She also said her husband has a better record on women's issues than Clinton.

Last year, Mrs. Edwards apologized to Clinton after saying her choices in life have made her happier than the New York senator.

John Edwards also has been making distinctions with Clinton as he tries to overcome her strong lead in the primary race, but his criticisms have been more veiled. Last week, during a speech in New Hampshire, he said Washington is corrupt and suggested Clinton was part of the system.

''The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale. The Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent,'' Edwards said, referencing a Clinton-era controversy in which high-dollar donors were allowed to stay in the White House's famed bedroom.

Clinton is a divisive candidate, with a recent Gallup Poll showing her unfavorable rating at 48% and her favorable rating at 47%. (AP)

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