John Edwards at Hampton House Party

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Democratic Candidate Returns to Hampton

By Nancy Rineman

Hampton Union, Tuesday, October 16, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Nancy Rineman photo Melanie and Chris Muns welcome Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards to their Hampton home.
[Nancy Rineman photo]

HAMPTON -- A crowd of more than 200 gathered in the back yard of Chris and Melanie Muns on Sunday for the chance to listen to former Sen. John Edwards as part of his New Hampshire presidential tour.

Edwards, accompanied by U.S. Rep. Carol Shea Porter, said he believes the country needs a "really serious big change." He began by applauding the recent accomplishments of Al Gore as winner of the Nobel Prize for his efforts on global warming.

Edwards said that in addition to global warming, health care issues pose another crucial problem needing to be changed.

"We have great presidential choices," Edwards said Sunday. "I want to be the president who asks the (people) to sacrifice."

Edwards, who was officially endorsed by Friends of the Earth Action immediately before taking the microphone Sunday, said he is opposed to building or expanding any more nuclear power plants, and that he is against coal power plants.

"We have to be patriots about something besides war," Edwards said, adding that he feels Americans also need to drive more fuel-efficient vehicles.

In regard to poverty, Edwards said, "As long as I'm alive and breathing, I will be talking about it."

Edwards talked about the impact of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and the conditions that followed.

"We do not need a surge in Baghdad; we need a surge in New Orleans," he said.

"We've got to end this war in Iraq," Edwards said.

Edwards said he feels that to maximize success in Iraq, "the choices are ugly."

Regarding international trade impacts, Edwards questioned whether working class middle income Americans are hurt by the profits being made by what he referred to as "wealthy corporations."

Edwards also said he is not in favor of reinstituting the draft and that he does think we need a volunteer military.

"We need to get our troops out of Iraq," he said, adding that troops and equipment are thoroughly worn out.

On the subject of education, Edwards said America needs to have "universal Pre-K." He also supports instituting a national teaching university. He also said he feels there is a need to radically change No Child Left Behind.

Paul O'Connor of Exeter attended the Edwards event with his 2½ year-old daughter, Jade, and his 11-year-old son, Tayzen. O'Connor said he goes to all the events of all the candidates. He said he likes Edwards because he is pro-labor.

"He understands the importance of organized labor," O'Connor said, adding that he believes the decline of organized labor matches the decline of middle class America.

"As a Republican ...; it's time for a change," Larry Miller of North Hampton said. "I've decided it's John Edwards who can lead the country to bring back America to where it needs to be."

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