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John Edwards

1) We should continue in this war until Iraq is a stable democracy


John Edwards has apologized for his senatorial vote to authorize the use of military force against Iraq and believes Congress must cut off funds to prolong the war. He says we should withdraw all troops over the next 12-18 months and allow the Iraqis to assume more responsibility for their government. Edwards describes Bush as "dead set on pursuing his discredited strategy in Iraq without regard to the cost in lives, the evidence of its failure, or the clear will of the American people."

"Edwards Statement On Bush Veto Threat Of New Iraq War Funding Proposal," press release, John Edwards 08 (05/09/07)

"Edwards Lays Out Comprehensive Proposal To Enact His Plan For Iraq,"

(campaign press release, 02/14/07), John Edwards 08 (official campaign for president website)

2) Efforts to combat global warming should be increased


John Edwards believes that "our nation's dependence on oil and other fossil fuels is contributing to global warming and jeopardizing our national security." He advocates capping carbon emissions and plans to create a "new energy" economy and 1 million new jobs by investing in clean, renewable energy, sparking innovation, a new era in American industry, and life in family farms. He has announced energy conservation measures in his own campaign and says that it will be "carbon neutral."

"Achieving Energy Independence & Stopping Global Warming Through A New Energy Economy," John Edwards '08

"Edwards Increases Efforts To Fight Global Warming; Announces Campaign Will Be Carbon Neutral," John Edwards '08

3) The federal government should provide a universal health care system


John Edwards "believes we need to reform our health care system to provide truly universal coverage - not mere access to insurance - and get better care at lower cost." He says it is even more important to invest in health care than to reduce the budget deficit. His plan would require businesses and other employers either to cover their employees or to help finance their health insurance. He would make insurance affordable by creating new tax credits, expanding Medicaid and SCHIP, reforming insurance laws, and taking innovative steps to contain health care costs.

"Health Care," John Edwards 08 (official campaign for president website)

Margasak, Larry "Edwards Pushing Universal Health Care" (AP), Washington Post (01/01/07)

4) Same-sex marriage should be banned


John Edwards is personally against gay marriages but believes this is a matter for states to decide. He approves of "civil unions and substantive rights" for gay and lesbian couples.

"The Candidates on Gay Marriage," Religion & Politics (08), The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

Easton, Nina "John Edwards: Union Man" Fortune magazine on (05/07/07)

"John Edwards: On Gay/Lesbian Issues," About: Lesbian Life

5) The civil law should be reformed so that lawsuits are less common and damage verdicts against individuals and businesses are lower


John Edwards believes that doctors and corporations, like individuals, must assume personal responsibility for their actions and "deserve" to be held accountable for negligence and wrongdoing. Nevertheless, he suggests that lawyers who have brought three "frivolous" lawsuits to court should be prohibited from doing so for a substantial amount of time and suggests that, before a medical malpractice case can be filed, lawyers must get an expert physician to certify a legitimate medical complaint may exist. Lawyers who fail to meet their obligations should also be held accountable.

Sebok, Anthony J. "Issues of Civil Justice and Tort Reform: What Role Will They Play in the Democratic Primaries?" Findlaw: Legal News and Commentary (01/26/04)

"John Edwards on Government Reform," On the Issues (2004)

6) The US should increase foreign aid


"America led instead of going it alone. We extended a hand, not a fist. We respected the world - and the world respected us." —John Edwards

"John Edwards on Foreign Policy," On The Issues (2004)

John Edwards accepts foreign aid as a means of exercising international influence, setting a good example, making the United States more secure, promoting democracy, and responding in a moral and strategic way to global problems. In the past, he says, America led by example and through forging powerful alliances. He would like to restore that approach. Edwards has developed a proposal to combat global poverty not only by increasing foreign aid's budget but by reforming and coordinating how foreign aid is administered.

"John Edwards on Foreign Policy," On The Issues (2004)

"John Edwards," Council on Foreign Relations

"Restoring America's Moral Leadership By Fighting Worldwide Poverty," John Edwards '08

7) Murderers should face the death penalty


Edwards says he supports the death penalty for certain abhorrent crimes if it is instituted on a state-by-state basis and applied fairly. He also supports full access to DNA testing, in order to exonerate the wrongfully convicted.

"The Candidates on the Death Penalty," Religion & Politics, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

"John Edwards on Crime," On the Issues

"John Edwards on the Issues," 2008 Presidential Candidates, On the Issues - Crime

8) The government should stop subsidizing farmers


John Edwards has made revitalizing rural America a centerpiece of his campaign and his Rural Recovery Act contains many ideas for helping rural entrepreneurs, fostering sustainable energy opportunities, strengthening rural education and conservation measures, and improving broadband infrastructure. These initiatives would supplement federal farm subsidies which, to protect the family farmers, would be capped at $250, 000 a person. Edwards does not advocate eliminating American farm subsidies to help poor farmers overseas raise their standard of living.

"Restoring Hope to Rural America," John Edwards 08

"John Edwards on Jobs," On the Issues

9) Before the social security system runs out of money, we should increase social security taxes to maintain benefits


John Edwards has called for rolling back tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans in order to use that money to strengthen and stabilize the retirement system. He rejects privatizing social security and does not believe its funds should be invested in the stock market. He rejects further raising the retirement age or cutting cost-of-living-adjustments, but he has suggested offering matching savings accounts to workers in addition to social security.

Olmeda, Raphael A. "Edwards Rallies Party Faithful; Democrat Touts Core Beliefs as Fund-Raiser, " South Florida Sun-Sentinel (02/27/05) on John Edwards 08

Henley, Danny, "Edwards Outlines Dem Beliefs," (03/07/05) Hannibal Courier-Post on John Edwards 08

"John Edwards on Social Security," On the Issues

10) The federal government should be able to hold a suspected terrorist indefinitely without charging them with a crime


John Edwards repudiates those portions of the Military Commissions Act (2006) that do not allow those classified by the administration as enemy combatants to file a writ of habeas corpus with the courts. "President Bush is now proposing legislation which will repudiate the writ of habeas corpus," and grant him the power to imprison whomever he pleases," he said, "for as long as he pleases without trial, charge, or judicial review. This bill signals to the rest of the world that the United States government condones torture."

"Statement on Detainee Bill," (09/28/06), Diaries, John Edwards 08 Blog

"John Edwards and Habeas Corpus" (2007), As Ohio Goes

11) The War on Drugs is a failure and should be curtailed.


This is a very serious concern to me. Drugs and America. Where are we going as a generation of Americans if we are all drugged out - some forced without proper cause? What is the drug revolution about? It is about prescriptions that are wrong in many cases, that promote or are responsible for loss of dreams and ambitions - and with millions of reported cases, the cause of suicide. Why are there so many volunteer drug abusers in America?— John Edwards

Drugs in America, Blog, John Edwards '08

John Edwards believes that illegal drug abuse and dependency on prescription drugs are intertwined and that society and the psychiatric system have a role to play in "the most criminal activity going on in The United States." In a recent blog entry he asks, "Are we going to keep stopping ourselves from our true potentials, and become manipulated by our own freedom?" Edwards proposes increased drug treatment and drug courts for non-violent offenders, He is committed to keeping drugs out of the United States, to vigorously prosecuting drug sales, and to imposing harsher sentences on drug crimes involving weapons or violence.

"John Edwards on Drugs, " On the Issues

Drugs in America, Blog, John Edwards '08

"John Edwards on the Issues," 2008 Presidential Candidates, On the Issues

12) America should take stronger and more consistent measures against the presence of illegal immigrants in the United States


John Edwards says that the US borders are not secure and that the southern border, especially, requires more money and resources and better use of technology. He favors a "clear road map to legalization and citizenship for undocumented immigrants who work hard and follow the law." This would involve paying a fine and learning English. Edwards supports the use of guest-worker visas for high tech workers but would like to see enough young Americans educated to take those positions in the future.

"John Edwards on the Issues," 2008 Presidential Candidates, On the Issues

"John Edwards on Immigration," On the Issues

Taylor, Amy "What Are the Candidates Saying About Immigration Reform? Senator John Edwards on Immigration," DMI Blog (02/28/07)

Postman, David, "Presidential hopeful Edwards courts unions on Seattle trip," (05/02/07) Seattle Times

Rotstein, Arthur "John Edwards Bring Campaign To Arizona," (AP, May 3, 2007),


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