DES MOINES, IOWA -- Barack Obama continued to hammer John Edwards for not doing more to get an independent pro-Edwards group to stop airing TV ads on his behalf.
"My attitude is if you can't get your former campaign manager and political director to do what you like then its going to be hard to get the insurance companies and the drug companies to do what you like. My hope that he takes this seriously," Obama said during a campaign stop at a Des Moines diner. He was referring to Edwards and the group Alliance for a New America, which is being run by his Edwards' 2004 campaign manager.
Yesterday, however, Edwards said he was asking the group, called a 527 organization because of it's classification under the tax code, to cease airing the ads.
"I do not support 527 groups. They are part of the law, but let me be clear: I am asking this group and others not to run the ads. I would encourage all the 527s to stay out of the political process," said Edwards.
When questioned this morning if he would take a pledge not to accept help from 527s, Obama dodged the question.
"You know the problem with 527s is you have no disclosure and you have no campaign laws. And my sense is if we want to increase transparency and accountability in how our campaigns are run then we should have monies funneled through channels where the people know who's funding the campaigns and who's accountable for the ads."
Obama said that right now, he would tell a union to stop advertising on his behalf.
He was asked if he would accept support from 527s if he was the nominee but Obama did not give a definitive answer. He said he hopes to get Republicans to come up with an agreement on how to operate. However, Obama added, "I'm not going to endanger the Democratic party's ability to win races by letting the other side outspend us by two or three hundred million dollars."
When asked if he is naïve in thinking that he can reach out to Republicans and stand up at to them at the same time, Obama said, "I'm not the one who has to apologize consistently for votes I've made not standing up to Republicans."