Elizabeth Edwards: People Trust Me

Elizabeth Edwards has been one of the most outspoken supporters of her husband, Sen. John Edwards, early in the 2008 presidential race. Some critics have called her "the attacker in chief," but she said Sunday on Face The Nation that her comments are not "calculated in any way."

"I have always been really forthright," she said. "My value is that people trust me, they trust me to say what's on my mind and to be direct."

Elizabeth Edwards has already made controversial comments about the two frontrunners in the Democratic field. She called Sen. Barack Obama "holier than thou" and said Sen. Hillary Clinton has a tenuous stance on health care.

When asked why Obama and Clinton get more publicity than her husband, she said it probably has something to do with race and gender.

"I think it's partly because the mainstream media is involved with an obviously interesting story between a man of African-American heritage and a woman candidate," she told Bob Schieffer. "That's an interesting story."

The former Senator from North Carolina and his wife insist said they are just trying to get their message across.

"My idea is — my purpose, I think – is to talk about John's policies," she said. "He gives me an incredible buffet from which to speak."

Edwards trails Clinton and Obama in the polls in the early stages of the campaign. If he were to win the election, he said Elizabeth would be his confidant, but not necessarily an appointed official.

"The way we do things, and the way we interact, it's so natural that I would not want to change that," the former Senator said. "I think titles and specific charges is not the way that we do things together."

"I'm really supposed to be just a mirror for people see him," she said. "And what I have to say about it, honestly, is not very important. People will be voting for John. The extent to which I can shed a light on who he is as a person, that's great."

Elizabeth Edwards, who announced earlier this year that her breast cancer had returned, said that her health was holding up during the campaign.

"I have — still have – no symptoms, which is a very good sign," she said. "My protocol is easy to work around a campaign schedule, and the medications I take don't tire me. Honestly, if you didn't know I had cancer, you wouldn't know I had cancer."

"Actually, she seems to feel great," Sen. Edwards said. "She's energetic and out there campaigning and speaking her mind. So I'm proud of her."

The Edwardses said they had no regrets about continuing John's campaign for the White House after learning of Elizabeth's cancer.

"You don't get to do it both ways, but choosing to fight for the things that we've fought for for a very long time is enormously important to me," Elizabeth said. "It allows me – and John, honestly – to focus on something other than my condition."
  • Caitlin Johnson

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