John Edwards on Homeland Security

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

Appropriate to talk to Musharraf after Bhutto assassination

Q: Was it appropriate for you to talk to Musharraf at that time, perhaps give him cover at a time when he needed legitimacy?

A: It was absolutely appropriate, and I didn’t actually speak to Musharraf. I placed a call to the Pakistani ambassador in the US and told him that I knew Musharraf, we had met in Islamabad years ago and talked about some of the problems in Pakistan at that time and that I had some things I wanted to say to him. They were exactly the things that the president of the US should sa to a Musharraf under these circumstances. First, I said you have to continue on the march to democratization in South Pakistan. Second, I said you must allow international investigators in to determine what happened, because no one is going to trust some internal investigation that you conduct. Third, I said these elections that are scheduled have to take place as soon as possible, but they need to be real. They have to be open, fair. The opposition parties need to be represented. They have to be secure.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008

Provide medical care and job training for veterans

Tonight across this country, 200,000 men and women who wore our uniform and served this country patriotically, veterans, will go to sleep under bridges and on grates. We have men and women coming back from Iraq with PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, other kind of emotional problems; many with serious physical injuries. We have families who are here at home, while they serve in Iraq, who are having a terrible time paying for child care, paying the bills. Every one of them ought to get job training if they need it, and additional education if they need it. We should help them find a job. They didn’t leave us on our own, we shouldn’t leave them on their own. We need to narrow this gap between civilian pay and military pay, and help these families with their child care. For all the veterans who have served this country, we need a guaranteed stream of funding for the Veterans Administration so we don’t have veterans waiting six months or a year to get the health care that they deserve.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008

Colleges must allow military recruiters for ROTC on campus

Q: Will you vigorously enforce a statute which says colleges must allow military recruiters on campus and provide ROTC programs? A: Yes.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008

End Bush’s illegal spying on American citizens

Q: Does the president have inherent powers under the Constitution to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?

A: I strongly oppose George Bush’s illegal spying on American citizens. Surveillance that takes place within the United States should be performed with judicial oversight, as the law provides.

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

Bush created a national embarrassment at Guantanamo

Q: Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

A: George Bush has abused our constitutional traditions in his detention policies and has created a national embarrassment at Guantanamo Bay. Judicial review ought to be restored to the process of detentions. As president, I will not detain U.S. citizens as enemy combatants without charges, and I will close Guantanamo Bay on my first day in office.

Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

Torture does not work & undermines our moral authority

It is hard to believe that the president and his supporters are engaged in a debate about how much torture we should have. The United States should never torture, for several reasons: because it is not the American way, because it undermines our moral authority in the world, because it places our troops at risk, and because it does not work. I strongly oppose George Bush’s possible veto of the Congressional bill prohibiting torture.
Source: Boston Globe questionnaire on Executive Power Dec 20, 2007

I think we need a president who asks Americans to sacrifice

Q: Teenage boys must register for selective service at age 18, but not girls. I’m wondering whether this sends the right message about national service?

DODD: I don’t see a need for the draft. I don’t believe that is necessary. But if you are going to have one I think it ought to be gender neutral.

Q: If it did not necessarily mean military service, should the country examine registering women at 18?


EDWARDS: Yes. But it’s absolutely crucial that we ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war. As with John Kennedy’s call to action, I think we need a president who asks Americans to sacrifice.

KUCINICH: We have to say no to a draft.

BIDEN: Yes ,and there should be universal service.

OBAMA: Yes. Every young person should have that opportunity to serve and do something that is bigger than themselves.

RICHARDSON: Yes. And I outlined a plan two years of college tuition paid off by the government, one year of national service

Source: [Xref Obama] 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Don’t-ask-don’t-tell is discriminatory & bad for military

Q: Since the don’t-ask-don’t-tell ban cannot be lifted by executive order, you need more--how do you do it?

A: Oh, I think the president can get rid of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” If the president of the US believes that “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is bad for America and in fact bad for our military, and it’s discriminatory, all of which is true..

Q: And when General Colin Powell says no, you can’t do it?

A: I’m not sure Colin Powell would say no [now; he only said so] back then. But it doesn’t matter. It’s not the job of the generals to make this determination. It is the job of the president. And I can tell you I am firmly committed to eliminating “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” “Don’t ask, don’t tell” is not just wrong now, it was wrong when it began. It’s been wrong the entire time

Source: 2007 HRC/LOGO debate on gay issues Aug 9, 2007

Close Guantanamo; end torture; comply with Geneva

It is time for us to show the leadership that America and the world needs from us. And there is so much work to do. And it’s not just ending the war in Iraq. You know, the first thing we have to do is we have to establish America as a force for good in the world again. You look at what’s happened: the war in Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, torture, the illegal spy on the American people, and by the way, on the first day that I’m sworn in as president of the United States, I will close Guantanamo.

But it’s about first stopping the damage, stopping the damage that this president and this administration have done, and we need to do those things. We need to make it absolutely clear that we’re leaving Iraq, we need to close Guantanamo, we need the president of the United States to say to the world, America will neither condone or engage in torture, that we will comply with Geneva.

Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 19, 2007

President is not above law; no spying on Americans

We need the president to say to the American people, that the president is not above the law. The president will not spy on you illegally. The president himself will follow the law. But it’s about more than stopping the damage. It’s also about America meeting its responsibility to humanity. We have an enormous responsibility. We’re the most powerful, richest nation on the planet, and we know what the world thinks about us now, right? They think we’re a bully. They think we’re selfish. They think the only thing that America cares about is the expansion of American power. This has to change. The president has to travel the world and speak to the people of the world about the things that we really are, that we are a country that embraces equality. We are a country that embraces diversity: ethnic diversity, cultural diversity, faith diversity, because the world believes that we’re at war with the Muslim world, and that has got to change. It has got to end.
Source: Take Back America 2007 Conference Jun 19, 2007

Require deployed troops to be fully trained and equipped

Q: The Iraq bill recently passed by the House included a proposal forcing the President to certify that troops going to Iraq meet the Pentagon’s standards for sufficient training, proper equipment, and overall readiness to fight. Do you support this approach?

A: Yes. Rep. Murtha’s bill echoed my policy. In my policy I have prohibited funding to deploy any new troops or any replacement troops to Iraq that do not meet real readiness standards, and have not been properly trained and equipped. So that American tax dollars are used to train and equip our troops, and not used to escalate this war. Requiring this President to make sure that the troops are prepared is actually the best way to stand by our troops, and is also the best way to force this President to change his policy. The members of the conference committee have to stand strong on this requirement. They should stand up to this President’s veto threat and they ought to pass this legislation and stand behind it.

Source: Virtual Town Hall on Iraq, sponsored by MoveOn.org Apr 10, 2007

End $250 registration fee for veterans getting healthcare

A few years ago, there was a registration fee put in place for veterans. Veterans were required to pay a $250 registration fee to get the healthcare they were entitled to. Men and women who have served this country, who have worn the uniform of the United States of America, asked to pay a registration fee to get healthcare? Let me tell you my view: they paid their registration fee when they put on the uniform of the United States of America.
Source: 2007 IAFF Presidential Forum in Washington DC Mar 14, 2007

Iraq/Afghan soldiers shouldn’t beg or pay for benefits

We don’t think it’s right for our soldiers to come back from Iraq or Afghanistan and have to beg for their back pay. We don’t think it’s right for our veterans to have to pay $250 registration fee to get the health care that they’re entitled to. Here’s what we believe: we believe those men and women paid their registration fee when they put on the uniform of the United States of America. That’s what we believe.
Source: 2005 Take Back America Conference Jun 2, 2005

Cannot sacrifice rights & freedoms that define America

We must protect our country, but we cannot sacrifice the rights and freedoms that define America. We have a right to self-defense, but we must always recognize the larger framework of international law when we make decisions about defending ourselves.
Source: 2004 Presidential National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2004

Attention to bin Laden was diverted because of Iraq

When we had Osama bin Laden cornered, the Bush administration left the job to the Afghan warlords. They then diverted their attention from the very people who attacked us, who were at the center of the war on terror, and so Osama bin Laden is still at large. Cheney made mention of this global test. What Kerry said: We will find terrorists where they are and kill them before they ever do harm to the American people, first. Kerry also said very clearly that he will never give any country veto power over the security of the US. Regardless of this rosy scenario that they paint on Afghanistan, just like they do with Iraq, Afghanistan is now providing 75% of the world’s opium. Not only are they providing 75% of the world’s opium, large-cut parts of the country are under the control of drug lords and warlords. Big parts of the country are still insecure. The part of Afghanistan, eastern Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden is, is one of the hardest places to control and the most insecure.
Source: Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential Oct 5, 2004

Important things haven’t been done to make America safe

3 years after 9/11, we find out that the Bush administration still does not have a unified terrorist watch list. What are we waiting for? We still don’t have one list that everyone can work off of to see if terrorists are entering this country. We’re screening our passengers going onto airplanes, but we don’t screen the cargo. You have to be strong and aggressive. But we also have to be smart. And there are things that have not been done that need to be done to keep the American people safe.
Source: Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential Oct 5, 2004

Bush opposed a 9/11 commission and a Homeland Security Dept

EDWARDS: If we want to do the things that need to be done to keep this country safe, we can’t be dragged kicking and screaming to it. What’s happened is the Bush administration opposed the creation of a 9/11 Commission to find out why it happened and what we needed to do. They opposed the creation of a Department of Homeland Security, and then they were for it. We can’t react that way. We must be more aggressive.

CHENEY: We know Zarqawi is still in Baghdad today. He is responsible for most of the major car bombings that have killed or maimed thousands of people. He’s the one you will see on the evening news beheading hostages. He is, without question, a bad guy. He is, without question, a terrorist. He was, in fact, in Baghdad before the war, and he’s in Baghdad now after the war. The fact of the matter is that this is exactly the kind of track record we’ve seen over the years. We have to deal with Zarqawi by taking him out, and that’s exactly what we’ll do.

Source: Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential Oct 5, 2004

We weren’t attacked by Saddam Hussein

CHENEY: I feel very strongly that the significance of 9/11 cannot be underestimated. It forces us to think in new ways about strategy, about national security, about how we structure our forces and about how we use US military power. Some people say we should wait until we are attacked before we use force. I would argue we’ve already been attacked. We lost more people on 9/11 than we lost at Pearl Harbor. And I’m a very strong advocate of a very aggressive policy of going after the terrorists and those who support terror.

EDWARDS: We were attacked. But we weren’t attacked by Saddam Hussein. The reality is that the best defense is a good offense, which means leading America returning to its proud tradition of the last 75 years, of once again leading strong coalitions so we can get at these terrorist cells where they are, before they can do damage to us and to the American people. We made clear that we will do that, and we will do it aggressively.

Source: [Xref Cheney] Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential Oct 5, 2004

Cast a global net for terrorists

Al Qaeda alone is known to operate in more than 60 countries. We need the cooperation of intelligence and law enforcement agencies around the world to cast a global net for terrorists, infiltrate their cells, learn their plans, cut off their funds, and stop them before they can attack. We will strengthen the effectiveness of intelligence and law enforcement efforts around the world by forging stronger international coalitions and enhancing cooperative relationships.
Source: [X-ref Kerry] Our Plan For America , p.225 Aug 10, 2004

Improve intelligence capabilities to counter terrorism

We can more effectively prevent another terrorist attack by: restoring the credibility of our intelligence community by ensuring the basic integrity of the intelligence process. We will make certain that our intelligence agencies are protected from political pressures and operate in a culture of diversity of thought, dissent, and forceful challenging of assumptions; strengthening accountability & leadership by creating a true Director of National Intelligence with the authority to manage & direct all of the components of the intelligence community; maximizing coordination and integration by structuring around key threats like terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and hostile countries; transforming our intelligence services to ensure that they have sufficient personnel with the skills, languages, training, & orientation needed to meet today’s threats. We will make sure that the FBI is fully prepared to perform counter-terrorism intelligence operations and strengthen our capabilities overseas.
Source: [X-ref Kerry] Our Plan For America , p. 13 Aug 10, 2004

Cut off terrorists funds

Terrorists need money to operate. We will: impose tough financial sanctions against nations or banks that engage in money laundering or fail to act against it; launch a “name and shame” campaign against those financing terror, and shut out of the US financial system those nations that fail to respond, end Bush’s kid-glove approach to the supply & laundering of terrorist money in Saudi Arabia, and demand Riyadh shut down Saudi-based “charities” that help finance al Qaeda and other terrorist networks.
Source: [X-ref Kerry] Our Plan For America , p. 14 Aug 10, 2004

Prevent Afghanistan & others from becoming terrorist havens

Our drive to topple the Taliban regime convincingly demonstrated the courage and skill of our troops, the value of powerful new technologies, and the particular importance of Special Forces units in defeating unconventional enemies. Unfortunately, we have not followed with a plan or the commitment to win the peace. Bush has all but turned away from Afghanistan, allowing it to become a forgotten front in the war on terror and once again a potential breeding ground for terrorists.
Source: [X-ref Kerry] Our Plan For America , p. 15 Aug 10, 2004

Individual Ready Reserve call-up is used as a backdoor draft

The vast majority of the Army’s active duty combat divisions are committed to Iraq, either currently there, preparing to go, or recently returned. We’ve called up our Guard and Reserves at historic levels. Some have been on the ground in Iraq for as many as 15 months - much longer than was promised. And many of these units are stretched far too thin. Bush’s answer has just been to stretch further. They are effectively using a stop-loss policy and the Individual Ready Reserve call-up as a back-door draft.
Source: [Xref Kerry] Our Plan for America , p. 18 Aug 10, 2004

Expand active duty and Army’s forces to security peace

We will expand America’s active duty forces by 40,000; double the Army’s Special Forces capability within 4 years, while adding a special operations helicopter squadron to the Air Force; increase by 50 percent the number of civil affairs troops trained in the special responsibilities of reconstruction; increase our military police, because order is critical to establishing the conditions that allow peace to take hold; and add 500 “psychological operations” personnel and augment their language training.
Source: [Xref Kerry] Our Plan for America , p. 19 Aug 10, 2004

Offer a military modernization plan for the troops

We offer a military modernization plan that will create more fully modernized “digital divisions,” equipped with the latest communications technology crucial to future military success; create new “anti-proliferation” units trained and equipped to find and destroy nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and to secure the facilities that produce them; and provide full support for education and training for our troops, including on how to deal effectively with culturally diverse civilian populations.
Source: [Xref Kerry] Our Plan for America , p. 19 Aug 10, 2004

Ensure Americans in uniform receive benefits they deserve

We will enact a Military Family Bill of Rights that includes a commitment to full, mandatory funding of veterans’ health care; a commitment to competitive pay for service members, including special compensations for those in combat zones; up-to-date and accurate notice to military families about deployments and rotations that send troops away from home or back home; financial help for families affected by extended deployments; a guarantee of adequate housing for military families, beginning with the accelerated construction by private developers of new housing on or near military bases; full access for all military personnel, whether active duty, National Guard, or Reserves, to TRICARE; full funding for Department of Defense schools serving military families, which Bush has sought to cut; a new $250,000 gratuity for families of service members killed in a combat zone; and doubling the period during which families of service members killed in action can continue to live in military housing.
Source: [Xref Kerry] Our Plan for America , p. 21 Aug 10, 2004

Make better use of the National Guard

We need to make better use of what should be a key asset in homeland defense - our National Guard. The National Guard has served in every war, and they are serving now. They were the first ones called on to line city streets, guard bridges, and patrol our airports after September 11th. We will make homeland security one of their primary missions, and assign Guard units to a standing national task force on homeland security commanded by a National Guard general.
Source: [Xref Kerry] Our Plan for America , p. 23 Aug 10, 2004

Keep our promises to American veterans

There are countless veterans who fought our wars who are now fighting year after year for the benefits they earned. Bush refuses to fully fund veterans’ health care. While boasting of cutting waitlists for VA health care, the Bush administration has done so by excluding nearly 500,000 veterans from enrolling. Bush has strongly opposed granting our nation’s veterans full disability and retirement pay. We will end the game of playing politics with funding for veterans health care by making it mandatory. We will end the “disabled veterans tax,” under which military retirees who receive both veteran’s pensions and disability compensation must surrender a dollar from their military retirement pay for every dollar they get for military compensation. America deserves a commander-in-chief who will fight for a constant standard of decency and respect for those who serve their country in our armed forces-on active duty and as veterans. It should be no other way and in our administration, it will be no other way
Source: [Xref Kerry] Our Plan for America , p. 22 Aug 10, 2004

We must and we will treat our veterans better

The real test of patriotism is how we treat the men and women who have put their lives on the line to protect our values. The 26 million veterans in this country will not have to wonder when we’re in office whether they’ll have health care next week or next year. We will take care of them because they have taken care of us. We will invest in the new equipment and technologies so that our military remains the best equipped and best prepared in the world. This will make our military stronger.
Source: Acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 28, 2004

Protect our country without sacrificing rights and freedoms

We must protect our country, but we cannot sacrifice the rights and freedoms that define America. We have a right to self-defense, but we must always recognize the larger framework of international law when we make decisions about defending ourselves.
Source: 2004 Presidential National Political Awareness Test Mar 3, 2004

Americans are safer at home when we are respected abroad

A Strong America. Edwards believes that American families are safer at home when we are respected abroad. He will lead by working with our closest allies to solve the world’s toughest problems. He will create a global coalition to fight terrorism and combat weapons of mass destruction, promote democracy and freedom, and revitalize international institutions that make America stronger.
Source: Real Solutions For America, campaign booklet by John Edwards Aug 6, 2003

John Edwards on Nuclear Proliferation

Lead a long-term effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons

We need to make sure that the extremists in northwest Pakistan are under control. We provide support for the democratic reformers and make sure these elections take place in January. We need to make certain that the nuclear weapons are under control. Pakistan is the living, breathing example that America’s ad hoc policy of dealing with the spread of nuclear weapons, while it’s absolutely required in today’s world given what’s happening with Iran, given what we see today in Pakistan and the incredible fragility of the administration in Pakistan and the presidents of an extraordinary extremist element within Pakistan. But this is the living, breathing example of a policy that will not work over the long-term. What we have to do, what the US needs to do and what I will do, as president of the US, is to lead a long-term international effort to rid the world of nuclear weapons. It is the only way we’re going to keep the world secure and keep the US secure.
Source: 2007 Democratic debate in Las Vegas, Nevada Nov 15, 2007

No hypothetical nuke talk in Pakistan; eliminate all nukes

Q: What about Obama’s comments on Pakistan that the US might take unilateral action there against al Qaeda?

A: Musharraf is not a wonderful leader, but he provides some stability in Pakistan. And there is a great risk, if he’s overthrown, about a radical government taking over. They have a nuclear weapon. They’re in constant tension with India, which also has a nuclear weapon, over Kashmir. It’s a dangerous, volatile situation. Q: But is Obama right or wrong?

A: As president, I would not talk about hypotheticals in nuclear weapons. I think that’s not a healthy thing to do. I think what it does for the president is it effectively limits your options. And I do not want to limit my options, and I don’t want to talk about hypothetical use of nuclear weapons. I would add that I think what the president should actually do, and what I would do as president, is to lead an international effort over time to eliminate nuclear weapons from the planet. That’s the way to make the planet more secure.

Source: 2007 Democratic primary debate on “This Week” Aug 19, 2007

Concerned about Iran, but alternatives over military strike

Q: Do you think that the Bush administration is planning for a war in Iran?

A: I don’t know. I hope not. I think that there’s a legitimate concern about Iran getting a nuclear weapon. We should be concerned about that for a lot of reasons, including the possibility that, first, that they would use it; second, that it could, could nuclearize the Middle East, the most volatile place on the planet. A military strike by America against Iran would strengthen Ahmadinejad. They would rally around this guy. On top of that, we would see retaliation. What’s smarter for us to do now is to continue to tap into this growing isolation between this radical leader and his own people.

Q: Would President Edwards allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon?

A: There’s no answer to that question at this moment. I think that it’s a very bad thing for Iran to get a nuclear weapon. I think we have many steps in front of us that have not been used. We ought to negotiate directly with the Iranians, which has not been done.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series Feb 4, 2007

Ad-hoc proliferation policy does not work over the long-term

On the issue of nuclear proliferation: If you look at Pakistan, it’s a perfect vehicle for actually thinking about this issue. Here’s an unstable leader, Musharraf, in a country with a violently radical element that could, under some circumstances, take over the government. If they did, they would have control of a nuclear weapon. They could either use it, or they could turn it over to a terrorist organization to be used against America or some of our allies.

I think the bigger picture on this is, what do we do over the long term? Because what we’re doing now is essentially an ad hoc, nation-by-nation, case-by-case basis of trying to control the spread of this nuclear technology.

I think this ad hoc policy does not work over the long term. And what I believe we should be doing over the long term, I want to lead a long-term international initiative to actually rid the world of nuclear weapons, because that is the only way to make the world safer and secure and to keep America safe.

Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Democratic primary debate Jan 6, 2006

Serious threats about terrorists acquiring nuclear weapons

In the short term, we’re faced with very serious threats about the possibility of these nuclear weapons getting in the hands of a terrorist group or somebody who wants to attack the US. The first thing is we have to immediately find out who’s responsible and go after them. That is the responsibility of the president. We have to find these people immediately and use every tool available to us to stop them. It is the responsibility of the president in times like this to be a force for strength, principled strength, but also calmness. It is enormously important for the president not to react and to react strongly, but to do it in a way that is calming for the American people and calming for the world. Because it would be an enormous mistake for the president to take a terrible, dangerous situation where millions of Americans or thousands of Americans could have lost their lives, and to ratchet up the rhetoric and make it worse than it already is.
Source: 2008 Facebook/WMUR-NH Democratic primary debate Jan 6, 2006

No connection between the attacks of 9/11 and Saddam Hussein

There is no connection between the attacks of 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. The 9/11 Commission has said it. Colin Powell has said it. And Cheney has gone around the country suggesting that there is some connection. There is not. And in fact the CIA is now about to report that the connection between Al Qaida and Saddam Hussein is tenuous at best. And, in fact, the secretary of defense said yesterday that he knows of no hard evidence of the connection. We need to be straight with the American people.
Source: Edwards-Cheney debate: 2004 Vice Presidential Oct 5, 2004

Secure Russian loose nukes from getting to rogue nations

We have got to restore our respect in the world to bring our allies to us and with us. With our credibility restored, we can work with other nations to secure stockpiles of the world’s most dangerous weapons and safeguard this extraordinarily dangerous material. We can secure the loose nukes in Russia. We can close the loophole in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty that allows rogue nations access to the tools they need to develop these weapons. That’s how we can keep you safe.
Source: Acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 28, 2004

John Edwards on Voting Record

Supports a new homeland intelligence agency, with safeguards

An America that is Safer and More Free. To track down terrorists within our borders, Edwards supports a new homeland intelligence agency. To protect basic freedoms that this administration has undercut, he will establish strong safeguards for our liberties that are missing today.
Source: Real Solutions For America, campaign booklet by John Edwards Aug 6, 2003

Voted YES on adopting the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Adoption of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty would ban nuclear weapons testing six months after ratification by the 44 nations that have nuclear power plants or nucelar research reactors.
Status: Resolution of Ratification Rejected Y)48; N)51; P)1
Reference: Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; Bill Treaty Document #105-28 ; vote number 1999-325 on Oct 13, 1999

Voted NO on allowing another round of military base closures.

Vote on an amendment to allow one round of military base closures beginning in 2001 as determined by an independent panel.
Reference: Bill S.1059 ; vote number 1999-147 on May 26, 1999

Voted NO on cutting nuclear weapons below START levels.

The Kerrey (D-NE) amdt would strike bill language requiring that U.S. strategic nuclear forces remain at START I levels through the end of fiscal 2000 unless Russia ratified START II.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)56; N)44
Reference: Motion to table Kerrey Amdt #395; Bill S. 1059 ; vote number 1999-149 on May 26, 1999

Voted YES on deploying National Missile Defense ASAP.

Vote that the policy of the US is to deploy a National Missile Defense system capable of defending against limited ballistic missile attack as soon as it is technologically possible, and to seek continued negotiated reductions in Russian nuclear forces.
Reference: Bill S 257 ; vote number 1999-51 on Mar 17, 1999

Voted YES on military pay raise of 4.8%.

Vote to pass a bill to authorize a military pay raise of 4.8% in 2000 and annual pay increases through 2006 of 0.5% above the inflation rate. The bill would also provide additional incentives to certain enlisted personnel who remain on active duty.
Reference: Bill S.4 ; vote number 1999-26 on Feb 24, 1999

Federalize aviation security.

Edwards co-sponsored the Aviation Security Act

H.R. 2951 is the corresponding House bill. Became Public Law No: 107-71.
Source: Bill sponsored by 31 Senators and 25 Reps 01-S1447 on Sep 21, 2001

Rated 40% by SANE, indicating a mixed record on military issues.

Edwards scores 40% by SANE on peace issues

Peace Action, the merger of The Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and The Freeze, has effectively mobilized for peace and disarmament for over forty years. As the nation's largest grassroots peace group we get results: from the 1963 treaty to ban above ground nuclear testing, to the 1996 signing of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, from ending the war in Vietnam, to blocking weapons sales to human rights abusing countries. We are proof that ordinary people can change the world. At Peace Action we believe...

As the Pentagon’s budget soars to $400 billion, 17% of American children live in poverty. For what the US will spend on Missile Defense in one year we could: put over a million children through Head Start OR provide healthcare for over 3.5 million children OR create over 100,000 units of affordable housing OR hire over 160,000 elementary school teachers. At Peace Action our priorities are clear.

The 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: SANE website 03n-SANE on Dec 31, 2003

Hiding sources made post-9-11 analysis impossible.

Edwards signed the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimous report on Iraq

Source: The Senate Intelligence Committee unanimous report on 9/11 04-SIC2 on May 8, 2004

CIA depends too heavily on defectors & not enough on HUMINT.

Edwards signed the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimous report on Iraq

Source: The Senate Intelligence Committee unanimous report on 9/11 04-SIC8 on May 8, 2004

Administration did not pressure CIA on WMD conclusions.

Edwards signed the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimous report on Iraq

Source: The Senate Intelligence Committee unanimous report on 9/11 04-SIC9 on May 8, 2004

Other candidates on Homeland Security: 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