Sunday, December 16, 2007

Above All, Protect the Status Quo

Edwards on Snuffleupagus this morning:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Four years ago, The Des Moines Register picked you. They said, "His time is now," and it clearly gave a boost to your campaign then. So this endorsement of Hillary Clinton is a blow this morning.

EDWARDS: Oh, I think The Des Moines Register's a great newspaper with good people. There are good people there. I think it remains to be seen how important it turns out to be, but congratulations to Senator Clinton.
I didn't consider it a consolation prize. I'm excited about being on the cover of Newsweek. The only thing I would add is, we did have a very serious debate when I was at the editorial board about a really fundamental difference that I have with them, which is, I do believe we have to take on a very serious issue of too much influence of corporate power in Washington and how it affects the public policy in this country.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I wanted to get into that. Because here's what they said in the editorial this morning. They noted that they endorsed you four years ago, but then they went on to say this: "We too seldom saw the positive optimistic campaign we found appealing in 2004. His harsh anti-corporate rhetoric would make it difficult to work with the business community to forge change."

How do you answer that charge?

EDWARDS: Well, we just -- what I just said. I mean, they have a position. I respectfully disagree with it. I think that if we're going to have serious change in this country, universal health care, attacking global warming, a tax policy that works for most Americans instead of just a few, a trade policy that creates jobs instead of costing jobs, I mean, all those things are going to require us to have a president of the United States who's tough and willing to fight these powerful corporate interests that stand between us and the change that we need.

And I think the notion that you can sit at the table and negotiate and compromise, and these powerful interests will give away their power, I think is a fantasy. If it were true, it would have been working over the last few decades. And it does not.

I think we have a huge fight, an epic fight on our hands against those powerful interests, not against politicians. Nobody cares about politicians fighting. But I think we need a president who's tough enough to take these people on and win, and I've been doing it my whole life.