John Edwards on Families & Children

2004 Democratic Nominee for Vice President; Former Jr Senator (NC)

Talked to his kids about sex abuse & inappropriate touching

Q: [to Edwards]: Have you talked to your children about sex?

EDWARDS: Yes, we have taught our children when they were young how to look for the signs of wrong touching, any kind of what would be sexual abuse, inappropriate touching. And we have taught our children as they got older, all that they needed to know to be properly educated.

Q: [to Obama]: Mitt Romney has accused you this week of saying that 5-year-old children should be getting sex education. Was he right?

OBAMA: Ironically, this was actually a proposal that he himself said he supported when he was running for governor of Massachusetts. Apparently, he forgot. And it makes the exact point that John made. I want my daughters, aged 6 & 9, to know if somebody is doing something wrong to them, encroaching on their privacy, that they should come talk to me or my wife. And we’ve had that conversation, and I think it’s important that every child does, to make sure that they’re not subject to the sexual predators.

Source: 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate, Charleston SC Jul 23, 2007

Our nation was built on institution of strong families

Our nation was built on the values of hard work, equal opportunity, thrift, and strong families. Americans believe in the importance of community, responsibility, and, most of all, family. We need to strengthen this institution that--for most of us-- is the central work of our lives and the foundation of our own and our children’s success. The first financial cushion we need is a stable family, and the first lessons we learn about responsibility are learned in our homes.
Source: Ending Poverty in America, by John Edwards, p.259-260 Apr 2, 2007

Invest in proven programs to reduce teen pregnancy

We can build on recent progress in reducing teen pregnancy by investing in proven programs. At the same time, we must recognize that the government cannot do everything. Teens are profoundly influenced by the attitudes & behaviors of adults. All of us need to send an unambiguous message to the young people in our communities. We need to clearly say that it is wrong when young men father children but do not support them. And it is wrong when girls & young women bear children they are not ready to raise
Source: Ending Poverty in America, by John Edwards, p.263 Apr 2, 2007

End marriage penalty for absent poor fathers

In too many poor communities marriage is the exception, and male responsibility is not what it should be. Children who grow up without fathers are much more likely to be poor and at greater risk for a host of problems into adulthood.

To strengthen families, we should address the marriage penalty that still hits many poor workers with a massive tax increase if they choose to get married. Welfare reform has helped reduce poverty rates among single mothers., but too many young men, particularly young black men, remain cut off from the hopes and routines of ordinary American life. We need to finish the job of welfare reform by encouraging young fathers to work and take responsibility for their children. Low employment levels for single men are linked to low levels of marriage and high levels of out-of-wedlock births.

Source: Ending Poverty in America, by John Edwards, p.262-263 Apr 2, 2007

Relief for working parents via taxes & schools

Relief for Working Parents. Today, parents are working longer hours and spending less time with their children. Edwards will offer relief to those families. He will offer a family leave tax credit so parents with newborns can afford to spend time with their children, and provide afterschool opportunities so children have safe, nourishing places to go.
Source: Real Solutions For America, campaign booklet by John Edwards Aug 6, 2003

Voted NO on killing restrictions on violent videos to minors.

Vote to kill an amendment that would prohibit the distribution of violent video programming to the public during hours when children are reasonably likely to comprise a substantial portion of the audience. Voting YES would kill the amendment proposing the new restrictions. Voting NO would suport the amendment proposing the new restrictions.
Reference: Bill S.254 ; vote number 1999-114 on May 13, 1999

Give parents tools to balance work and family.

Edwards adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Strengthen America’s Families
While the steady reduction in the number of two-parent families of the last 40 years has slowed, more than one-third of our children still live in one- or no-parent families. There is a high correlation between a childhood spent with inadequate parental support and an adulthood spent in poverty or in prison.

To strengthen families, we must redouble efforts to reduce out-of-wedlock pregnancies, make work pay, eliminate tax policies that inadvertently penalize marriage, and require absent fathers to pay child support while offering them new opportunities to find work. Because every child needs the attention of at least one caring and competent adult, we should create an “extended family” of adult volunteer mentors.

Family breakdown is not the only challenge we face. As two-worker families have become the norm, harried parents have less time to spend on their most important job: raising their children. Moreover, parents and schools often find themselves contending with sex- and violence-saturated messages coming from an all-pervasive mass entertainment media.

We should continue public efforts to give parents tools to balance work and family and shield their children from harmful outside influences. For example, we should encourage employers to adopt family-friendly policies and practices such as parental leave, flex-time, and telecommuting. Public officials should speak out about violence in our culture and should press the entertainment media to adopt self-policing codes aimed at protecting children.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC4 on Aug 1, 2000

Rated 0% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-family voting record.

Edwards scores 0% by the Christian Coalition on family issues

The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.

    Our Five-Fold Mission:
  1. Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
  2. Speak out in the public arena and in the media
  3. Train leaders for effective social and political action
  4. Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
  5. Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003

Other candidates on Families & Children: John Edwards on other issues:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010