Edwards Weighs in on "Silly Season"

From CBS News' Aaron Lewis:

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Today, Senator Edwards unveiled his plan to help those who are charged more for health care or are denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. Edwards is proposing a system that breeds competition between private health markets and public options.

Edwards also insisted that he would "use the power of the government" to negotiate drug prices. During a press conference here in New Hampshire, Edwards was asked how that's different from criticizing Obama for his willingness to negotiate with drug and insurance companies.

Edwards' response: "Most Americans don't have any bargaining power in dealing with drug companies in the marketplace. And the government has huge bargaining power. And we should use the power of the government in the market to bargain for the best possible prices. But I would not let insurance companies and drug companies dictate what kind of healthcare policies we have in this country."

Taking a cue from yesterday's trip back to his hometown in Seneca, S.C., Edwards began his remarks in Manchester, New Hampshire rehashing his roots while talking about his grandmother and grandfather living in the mill village where he grew up.

Edwards also expressed disapproval of the "bickering" between Obama and Clinton, referencing the squabble over Obama's kindergarten essay.

"It just shows you how silly the season has become."
(Sound familiar? Obama called it a "silly season" just a few days ago.)

Edwards also discussed his vow to take health care from Congress if they don't pass universal health care, Social Security, the mortgage crisis, financial literacy, and the type of people he'd put in place in his cabinet. Edwards' vision is that the vice president should be someone who follows in his "vision" and the rest should not be "yes" men; they should be "strong- minded people" with independent judgment.

On Social Security: "I think if you want to be President of the United States, you should lead. We're not running for Congress. And leadership means taking strong clear positions for the American people, which is what I've done on Social Security. I've said very clearly what I will do not said I'm gonna wait and figure this out later."