Edwards Camp Responds updated below

First, let me say that I’m not the campaign police.

However, when I hear any Democratic presidential contender using obvious right-wing
talking points in an important speech at some point you’ve just got to draw
the line
, as I did this morning. It’s especially annoying because it simply isn’t needed. Obama doesn’t
need to stoop to calling Clinton “Bush-Cheney lite” any more than
Edwards needs to say, “The American people deserve to know that their
presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist
money can no longer influence policy in the House or the Senate.”

There are plenty of issues the candidates can debate and even get heated about
without stooping to this lazy wingnut rhetoric. It sets a horrendous precedent
going forward in a campaign that’s just now heating up.

So as I said on my radio show today, Edwards gave a powerful speech this morning
in New Hampshire. Right up until he let fly one of the worst wingnut talking points from the 1990s. Emailing back and forth with the Edwards campaign about my extreme
disappointment in the language, I received the following statement from Edwards campaign aides I want to
share.

“None of us are pure on this, we’ve all been part of and worked in the same broken system. But this is about the future. This is about what we need to do to reform our party, to fix a broken system, and to achieve the kind of bold and transformational change we need in America.”

The camp then pointed me to two pieces of research meant to illustrate that
the Lincoln bedroom has certainly been a favorite of Mr. Bush’s. The AP snippet below points out when the Lincoln bedroom brouhaha began.

LINCOLN BEDROOM FAVORS THROUGHOUT THE YEARS

GEORGE W. BUSH: AT LEAST 270 SUPPORTERS AND “BIG” CONTRIBUTORS
STAYED OVERNIGHT AT WHITE HOUSE, SOME IN LINCOLN BEDROOM

2004: CNN Reported at Least 270 Bush Supporters, Including “Big”
Contributors, Spent the Night at the White House, Some Staying in the Lincoln
Bedroom.
In March 2004, on CNN’s “Inside Politics,” Candy
Crowley said, “White House sleepovers. Remember the flap over all those
friends, including big donors, the Clintons invited to spend the night when
the White House was their house? Well, ditto for President Bush, who has also
had friends and donors spend the night. Our Bruce Morton has the story.”
Bruce Morton: “Who slept here? Well, they were just friends, of course,
old pals from Texas, or maybe Yale. The Bushes have invited at least 270 people
to sleepovers during their three-plus years in the building. Including some
big contributors. And yes, some stayed in the Lincoln bedroom.” [CNN’s
“Inside Politics”, 3/11/04]

Bush Hosted Guests in the Lincoln Bedroom. In March 2004,
the AP reported, “Colorado’s governor is among those who have been entertained
at the White House, a new report says. Republican Gov. Bill Owens and his
wife, Frances, were among about 270 people who were invited to stay at the
White House since 2001, according to lists the White House provided to The
Associated Press. Owens is a Bush “ranger,” a designation for those
who have raised at least $200,000 for the president’s 2004 campaign, officials
said. The White House lists show President Bush and first lady Laura Bush
invited at least 270 people to stay at the White House and at least the same
number to overnight at the Camp David retreat since January 2001. Some guests
spent a night in the Lincoln Bedroom, historic quarters that gained new fame
in the Clinton administration amid allegations that Democrats rewarded major
donors like Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg and Barbra Streisand with
accommodations there. [AP, 3/10/04]

Whether this matters is up to you.

UPDATE: Chuck Todd was running his mouth today and proving how lazy the corporate hack pack can be. On “Hardball” he said that the Edwards line about the Lincoln Bedroom “was not in the prepared text” the Edwards campaign handed out before the speech and was thrown in off the cuff. Problem is they only handed out excerpts beforehand. In the actual prepared text of his speech the line always existed. Can’t Todd tell the difference between excerpts and the text of a full prepared speech? The Edwards campaign confirmed to me that the line was in the prepared text of the speech.