Edwards on “Iowa Press”

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is the guest on this evening’s edition of IPTV’s "Iowa Press" program.  It was taped this morning at IPTV studios in Johnston, Iowa.

The opening question was about the tenor of the rhetoric on the trail these days.

"I think it’s, uh, you’re talking about the tone?  I think it’s at least for me, I’m focused on my positive vision…because I think that’s what Iowa Caucus-goers are looking for," Edwards replied.  "There’s still some sniping going on among some of the other candidates, but I am locked in on what I want to do as president."

Edwards said, "based on past experience" he expects that sniping to continue.

Is there a danger of sending a wounded candidate into the general election?

"There’s always that risk and that’s at least from my perspective what Iowa Caucus-goers are looking for is not petty, personal fighting among politicians."

Do you have to win Iowa?

"I think all three of us — Clinton, Obama, me — are in a very tight race here and they’ve invested and so have I heavily in this contest and I think what that means in practical terms is somebody’s going to come out with momentum.  I don’t think you can say for any of the three of us that you have to win because it depends on how it plays out, but I can tell you having been through this I know what you have to do.  I know what you have to do to close and what Iowa Caucus-goers are looking for.  They’re not looking for academic and they’re not looking for analytical.  They’re looking for somebody who speaks from right here, from their gut and somebody who believes deeply and passionately in what they’re talking about," Edwards said (he gestured to his mid-section when he said "gut" BTW).

Can you survive a third place finish?

"I think that’s unknowable.  It’s unknowable for the other two, too. I think it depends on how close it is.  I depends on what happens in the next day.  You know, I’m not a political pundit.  My job is to be the candidate for president and I know, because I’ve been through this before, I know what Caucus-goers are looking for.  I mean, they’re looking for energy and passion and focus and they’re going to get that from me."

As for his band of supporters in Iowa:  "I think my people will be there, no matter what the weather is."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.