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Edwards Campaign Press Release - At First Stop On "Back Roads, Back Home Barnstorm," Edwards Says He Is The Most Committed To Fighting For The People Of South Carolina

January 23, 2008

Edwards criticizes Senator McCain for failing to acknowledge the impact of the struggling economy on South Carolina's families and questions Senator Clinton's commitment to the Palmetto State

Bennettsville, South Carolina – Today, on the first stop of his "Back Roads, Back Home Barnstorm," Senator John Edwards explained why it matters for the American people to have a president who understands their way of life, and how, as the only candidate born and raised in South Carolina, he will fight for hard-working Americans in the Palmetto State and across America. At the event, Edwards referred specifically to Senators McCain and Clinton, saying that if Senator McCain believes the economy is really doing fine, he should come to South Carolina and see for himself the impact of the struggling economy on South Carolina's families. He also questioned Senator Clinton's commitment to the people of South Carolina, criticizing her for leaving the state immediately after Monday's debate.

"We need a president of the United States who actually understands you're life. It's one thing to fly into South Carolina from someplace else, give a speech, go to a debate and then fly back out. It is a very different thing to have lived here, to have grown up in this part of the country and to understand in a personal way what's happening in you lives," Edwards said at the Bennettsville event. "I do – I know what it's like to go to Friday night high school football games, I played in a few of them myself, to go to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night—that's the way of life, that's our way of life. It's how I grew up.

"And the reason it matters is because if you have a president who understands your way of life and who cares about where you life, the odds go up tremendously that they're actually going to fight for you. That they're going to understand what's happening with the loss of jobs, what's happening with the economy, that they won't say things like 'well the economy's doing fine.' And they won't just fly in here for political events and leave; they'll actually come back and pay attention to what's happening in your lives.

"We've seen what's happening here in South Carolina with the unemployment rate going up, 6,000 jobs lost last month, and then John McCain said just a few days ago that the economy actually is doing fine, that we're not headed into a recession, the fundamentals were strong and remain strong. He needs to come to Bennettsville and see what's actually happening in the real world – because out here in the real world people are struggling.

"And I know, for example, Senator Clinton was here on Monday night for the debate that we had in Myrtle Beach. I hope some of you got to see the debate. But then right after the debate she flew out and she's been gone and she won't be back until I don't know—later in the week or until Primary Day. And the question is, if she's not going to spend time here the week before the South Carolina primary, what do you think the chances are she's coming back after the primary? And what are the chances she's coming back when she's President of the United States?"

During his two-day rural "Back Roads, Back Home Barnstorm" tour, Edwards will be joined by actor, producer and humanitarian Danny Glover, former Congressman and Dukes of Hazzard star Ben "Cooter" Jones, and North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler. Rev. James Blassingame of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Sumter will also join Edwards during the barnstorm. Rev. Blassingame and Senator Edwards both grew up in Seneca, South Carolina and both worked in the J.P. Stevens Textile Mill.

John Edwards, Edwards Campaign Press Release - At First Stop On "Back Roads, Back Home Barnstorm," Edwards Says He Is The Most Committed To Fighting For The People Of South Carolina Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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