IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Edwards again apologizes for 2002 war vote

Democrat John Edwards said Tuesday that honesty and openness were essential qualities for a president, and that he was proud to acknowledge his 2002 vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq was a mistake.
John Edwards 2008
Presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards, D-S.C., answers questions after speaking with members of the Community Service Society of New York and the Service Employees International Union Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2007 in New York.Julie Jacobson / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Democrat John Edwards said Tuesday that honesty and openness were essential qualities for a president, and that he was proud to acknowledge his 2002 vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq was a mistake.

Trolling for campaign cash on a three-day visit to New York - home of his chief Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton - Edwards spoke to reporters after attending a union-sponsored workshop on eradicating poverty.

Asked whether his repeated apologies for his vote would be a turnoff to voters over time, the 2004 vice presidential nominee said that after six years of President Bush, voters craved a president willing to acknowledge errors and change course if necessary.

A president is human
"If you asked me what I think the most important personal characteristics of the next president are, I would say honesty, openness and decency," he said. "There's not a single voter in America who doesn't understand that their president is human, and their president will sometimes makes mistakes."

At a voter forum in Carson City, Nev., last week, Edwards said Clinton's decision not to disavow her vote was "between her and her conscience." He didn't mention her Wednesday, taking a swipe at President Bush instead.

Voters, the former North Carolina senator said, "want you to be willing to change course when something's not working. We've had six-plus years now of a president who is completely unwilling to do that."

For her part, Clinton's also had a busy fundraising week - thanks in part to an online effort by her husband, Bill Clinton.

In an e-mail to his wife's supporters last Wednesday, the former president launched a fundraising drive aimed at raising $1 million in a week. As of Tuesday afternoon, the campaign said it had brought in nearly $890,000.