John Edwards told more than a thousand college students yesterday that they must join the fight against poverty and offered policy changes that he said could improve the economic lives of 18 million poor in 10 years.
Edwards spoke at the Campus Progress National Conference in at the Omni Shoreham hotel yesterday, and shared the stage with local youth organizer Erica Williams. He called for an increase in the minimum wage, a tripling of the earned income tax credit and a guaranteed access to quality child care, among other issues.
In an interview after his remarks, Edwards told the D.C. Wire that he thought it was way too premature to discuss any possible role he might play in a Barack Obama White House.
Edwards also defended the Illinois senator in the face of recent criticism. Edwards rejected criticism of Obama's decision to forgo public financing and about his recent comments regarding the Iraq War. Some have accused Obama of waffling on his pledge to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq in 16 months.
"There's a great deal of traditional thinking in the presidential campaign," Edwards said.
The feeling that changing a position is a sign of weakness "underestimates American voters."
Edwards also said he approved of Obama's decision on campaign finance, calling support from small donors akin to public financing.