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CBS "Early Show" - Transcript


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CBS "Early Show" - Transcript

MR. SMITH: Senator John Edwards has been here before. In 2004 he shocked the political world with a strong second-place finish in Iowa. This time around he's going for number one. He joins us here live at the state capitol in Des Moines.

Good morning, Senator.

MR. EDWARDS: Good morning, Harry.

MR. SMITH: I've been watching you a lot on C-SPAN and on some of the cables. You know, it looks like your pitch is going right down the middle of the plate. You do that strong finish that we've seen before.


MR. SMITH: How does it feel to you out there?

MR. EDWARDS: It feels terrific. I mean, I just finished 36 straight hours, the "Marathon for the Middle Class." You know, we always have to name these things.

MR. SMITH: Yeah.

MR. EDWARDS: But we campaigned for 36 straight hours, and it was an amazing response. We ended up last night here in Des Moines. We had 3,000 or 4,000 people, incredibly enthusiastic. Things are clearly moving in my direction. We'll just see what happens tonight. I feel optimistic.

MR. SMITH: Do you know -- away from your heart, do you know intellectually what you have to do in order to be viable tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next day?

MR. EDWARDS: I think it's very hard to judge because there are too many factors involved. I mean, we've got three people. I think an honest interpretation would be that any one of the three of us could finish first or second or third. And how close it is, I think we'll just have to wait and see.

MR. SMITH: How are you feeling in terms of organization, in terms of volunteers? We've been in some of these volunteer centers. People have come from all over the country.

MR. EDWARDS: They're amazing, aren't they? They're really amazing. We feel terrific. We have a great organization. And if we're successful here, you know, we have run against two candidates who outspent us five to one plus; lots of glitz, lots of coverage. So it means something worked. It means what I want to do -- to end corporate greed, strengthen the middle class, the things that you've heard me talking about -- that message really went through like a laser.

MR. SMITH: Here's the thing. When you're standing up there and you're in the middle of your stump speech, what is the one thing you talk about when you can literally -- you get a visceral -- when you see that what you're saying nails it, when the eyes -- pupils open up and the people you're talking to you say --

MR. EDWARDS: It's just very simple -- when I compare the level of corporate profit in America today with millions of Americans who have no health care and who live in poverty, who went hungry; homeless veterans. It's that juxtaposition side by side that makes people feel in their gut something's wrong and we've got to do better than this.

MR. SMITH: Yet at the same time, we look at a world -- Kenya is up for grabs all of a sudden; all that's happened in Pakistan in the last month after the assassination. Iraq is still -- you know, as long as there are that many troops there, maybe the violence can stay down for a while. But there's such a world of problems. Can you address the problems at home and address the problems abroad? Are you that guy?

MR. EDWARDS: You have to. And the president of the United States, as we used to say, has to walk and chew chewing gum at the same time. I mean, there are two enormous responsibilities. One is to make things work for working people in the middle class here in America, making the promise of this country available to all our kids, and dealing with these international crises and a long-term vision for the world that actually makes America a leader.

MR. SMITH: We will see what happens tonight. About 12 hours from now, people are going to be --

MR. EDWARDS: We're going to have fun. We're going to have fun.

MR. SMITH: (Laughs.) You heard it here first.

Senator, thank you very much. We appreciate it, sir.

MR. EDWARDS: Thank you, Harry; appreciate you having me.

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