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CBS "Early Show" - Transcript

Interview

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CBS "Early Show" - Transcript

MR. SMITH: Well, John Edwards sure needed a strong showing in Iowa. Last night he must be pleased, because he beat Hillary Clinton by one point to be able to claim second place in the Iowa caucuses.

Joining us from across town here in New Hampshire is Senator John Edwards.

Good morning, sir.

MR. EDWARDS: Good morning, Harry.

MR. SMITH: I'll tell you, if you were going to write the headline for your story from last night, would it have been that you did lose to Barack Obama by a bunch, or that you beat Hillary Clinton by one point?

MR. EDWARDS: It would be the little guy who got grossly outspent by two other candidates beat one of them and finished a strong second to the other.

MR. SMITH: This was important for you last night. I watched your -- it was not exactly a victory speech, but it sure looked like a victory speech. What do you take away from what happened in Iowa? What gives you strength from what happened, even with a second-place finish?

MR. EDWARDS: What we saw happen there, Harry, is both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton outspent me by many millions of dollars in Iowa. And still I beat her, beat the Clinton political machine, finished a strong second to Senator Obama. And I think what it means is, what it is I'm fighting for -- the middle class, jobs, stopping corporate greed -- this is something that matters in America.

Now we come to New Hampshire, where they really don't believe in auctions. They actually want to have an election. And they like to shake things up. And I think we're in a good place, and I'm going to fight with everything I've got up here.

MR. SMITH: One of the other big headlines of the morning is change. People say this is all about change on the Republican side, change on the Democratic side. A lot of your support comes from old- line, old blue-collar kind of union sort of support. You look at some of the people who supported Barack Obama. These are people who've never participated in the process before. Are you from the old line, and is he the new? And is this sweep of change, is it going to sweep you by?

MR. EDWARDS: Oh, no, this sweep of change is going to sweep me into the White House, Harry. What we saw from the election last night is the status quo candidate, Senator Clinton, finished third. The two change candidates finished first and second. That's not a shock. That's exactly what I would have expected.

And now voters in New Hampshire are going to have a clear choice between me and Senator Obama about who can most effectively bring about change. And my own belief is we have to fight these entrenched interests, like oil companies and drug companies, if we want to have change. Senator Obama has a more philosophical approach. But we're going to give voters in New Hampshire a very clear choice between the two candidates who are change candidates.

MR. SMITH: All right. And just for the record, Hillary and Obama both have $100 million in the bank. In my 20 seconds that I have left, can you compete against that?

MR. EDWARDS: Oh, yeah, I can. Absolutely, I can. I mean, I beat Senator Clinton last night with all of her $100 million, finished a strong second to Senator Obama. No, voters in New Hampshire are independent-minded and they're going to look for the guy that's going to fight for them, and that's me.

MR. SMITH: Senator Edwards, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today. We'll talk to you soon.

MR. EDWARDS: Thanks, Harry. Good morning.

MR. SMITH: All right. Take care.


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