Edwards speaks in Aiken

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Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, clad in a sports jacket and stonewashed jeans, visited Aiken on Saturday, asking a spirited crowd to vote for change and stand up for the middle class in this year's election.

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Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards speaks to the crowd of hundreds at USC Aiken's Etherredge Center.  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards speaks to the crowd of hundreds at USC Aiken's Etherredge Center.

Speaking to the hundreds that packed into the University of South Carolina Aiken's Etherredge Center, the presidential hopeful touted himself as the son of a South Carolina mill worker who understands the needs of America's people.

"When will we have a president that has a little backbone to stand up for low-income families and middle-class families?" Mr. Edwards asked.

Aiken resident Carol Sharpe said she enjoyed Mr. Edwards' down-to-earth persona and his stance on the Iraq war and health care. But she said she hasn't decided whether he is her top choice for the Democratic nomination.

Lam Le, another Aiken resident who attended Saturday's event, said Mr. Edwards stands out because of his policies outside the country.

"He's one of only two candidates that have a policy for Darfur," Ms. Le said. "We have to stop the genocide that's going on there."

On the topic of foreign policy, Mr. Edwards spoke about ending the Iraq war in his first year in office should he be elected. He also talked about universal health care, raising the minimum wage and putting a cap on carbon emissions to combat global warming.

"It's time for us to be patriotic about something other than the war," Mr. Edwards said. "That means we're going to have to sacrifice and conserve in our homes and drive different types of cars."

Maurine Meleck, of North Augusta, said she has no doubt that Mr. Edwards would best lead the country. Her grandson suffers from autism, and Mr. Edwards has reached out to those in need of mental health care, she said.

"He's a man that will stand up for the children," Ms. Meleck said. "I like what he has to say about universal health care. You can't imagine what families with autistic children go through."

Reach Stephanie Toone at (706) 823-3215 or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com.

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patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/13/08 - 07:07 am
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For those that feel the AC

For those that feel the AC doesn't ever pander to the left, this very slanted article should be proof that they do. I didn't attend the Edwards event, but I did see the interview on channel 12. Edwards still comes across as a "pie in the sky" liberal barely in touch with the real world. He speaks as though fiscal responsibility and personal responsibility are nonexistent. He's willing to increase federal taxes to redistribute wealth more fairly. He's WAY too nice for me.

raptcontemplation
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raptcontemplation 01/13/08 - 08:58 am
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John Edwards lives in a

John Edwards lives in a mansion in Chapel Hill and he says, "...that means we're going to have to sacrifice and conserve in our homes..." Get real.

naugliberal
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naugliberal 01/13/08 - 09:41 am
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The article simple reported

The article simple reported what happened and interviewed a few of the participants. How is that "pandering?" If the AC is too liberal (by the way, it should be "too nice" not "to nice") then I can't imagine what would be your standards for judging political content. Wealth should be redistributed by paying working people better wages and more benifits. Who do you think provided the labor for the rich to get rich?

naugliberal
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naugliberal 01/13/08 - 09:42 am
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The article simple reported

The article simple reported what happened and interviewed a few of the participants. How is that "pandering?" If the AC is too liberal (by the way, it should be "too nice" not "to nice") then I can't imagine what would be your standards for judging political content. Wealth should be redistributed by paying working people better wages and more benifits. Who do you think provided the labor for the rich to get rich?

naugliberal
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naugliberal 01/13/08 - 09:50 am
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If this article is

If this article is "pandering" I can't imagine what publication meets your journalistic standards. It appears to just relate facts with some comment by people who were there. Wealth should be redistributed by paying working people better wages and benefits.

dani
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dani 01/13/08 - 09:55 am
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Of course it's pandering. A

Of course it's pandering. A Liberal stafff writer is writing about a Liberal candidate. You wouldn't expect her to speak against him.___
I intend to tell him, up close and personal, that I am having a hard time making rent money. He cares for the middle class so I know he will invite me to share his home where things will be easier. I will keep you posted as to how it comes out. Vote Edwards and keep him from having to make more millions from malpractice suits.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/13/08 - 10:56 am
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Thank you for the grammar

Thank you for the grammar lesson, naugliberal. Correction made.

sjgraci
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sjgraci 01/13/08 - 11:31 am
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I wish Edwards were a little

I wish Edwards were a little more "Liberal". As it is, he is the most moderate-middle of the road candidate running for President. Denis Kucinch (and Gravel- is he still running?) is the ONLY true Liberal. Kucinich is as far left as all the Republicans, including Bush, are far right.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 01/13/08 - 11:33 am
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Hold on to your wallets.

Hold on to your wallets.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/13/08 - 11:35 am
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sjgraci, left / right is

sjgraci, left / right is certainly a matter of perspective. I consider Bush only slightly right of center. I wish he was a social conservative also.

jdodson
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jdodson 01/13/08 - 11:46 am
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I was raised in South

I was raised in South Carolina and I all I can say to my knee jerk conservative, no tax on the wealthy friends is to listen to what the man says, read what he plans to do, and do not pay attention to what the corporate media tells you to think. He is the American success story. He is not inherited wealth, privileged born with a silver spoon in his mouth successful. He made his money by standing up for working people who had been trampled on by corporations. He has not forgotten where he came from. It is just unfortunate that too many people are confused about where they are. Let's bring opportunity back to America. No handouts, but the opportunity to succeed. We will all benefit.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 01/13/08 - 12:36 pm
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To my confused liberal,

To my confused liberal, you've lost the opportunity to succeed? Where are you?

LaTwon
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LaTwon 01/13/08 - 12:45 pm
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anyone that thinks the high

anyone that thinks the high income people dont pay their fair share is crazy. what right do you have to continually enable the govt to steal the fruits of my labor? the top 1% already pays 40% of the taxes, top 5% pays 60% of the taxes, top 10% pays 70% of the taxes, top 25% pays 86% of all taxes. the top 50% pays 97%. we cannot pay for the entitlements already promised.
edwards is considered slimy even by other lawyers and his fortune was made suing drug co's which later was proven to be a bad verdict. what u r going to see is corps and wealthy people leaving in droves before everything they worked and risked their wealth for is stolen to buy votes. how many homeless shelters has he paid for with his own money? how about 400 dollar haircuts? how about fat al gore? 20 000 a month for utilities
pathetic hypocrisy

dani
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dani 01/13/08 - 01:31 pm
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Hillary says her "fix' for

Hillary says her "fix' for the economy will total 143 billion dollars, Edwards says his plan will cost only 100 billion. Some choice, huh?

aikener
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aikener 01/15/08 - 06:25 am
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LaTwon , please site your

LaTwon , please site your facts on tax rates... ( please remember that republicans had control of congress since 1996, so if you don't like it, maybe it's the R's ).

1) Gore’s family has taken many steps to reduce the carbon footprint of their private residence, including signing up for 100 percent green power through Green Power Switch, installing solar panels, and using compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving technology.
http://www.tva.gov/greenpowerswitch/

2) Gore has consistently bought carbon offsets to offset the family’s carbon footprint — a concept the some fail to understand. Gore’s office explains:
"What Mr. Gore has asked is that every family calculate their carbon footprint ( http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/carboncalculator/ ) and try to reduce it as much as possible. Once they have done so, he then advocates that they purchase offsets, as the Gore’s do, to bring their footprint down to zero."

Edwards/haircut: so someone who became successful can't enjoy some of the benefits that money affords them. hmmmm.. It's a shame that you can't see that he is proposing to raise taxes on income that includes HIS bracket & not the middle income earners!?

KSL
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KSL 01/15/08 - 10:35 pm
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Can someone tell me (better

Can someone tell me (better still, show me) the difference in a $400 haircut and a $40 haircut on a man?

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