Las Cruces, NM – First term Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) was once viewed as the Democratic candidate to beat. When candidates started to report their fundraising this election Edwards claimed the blue ribbon in the race for cash. Now he is a distant third in campaign cash and ahead in the polls only in his native state of South Carolina. With campaign cash going out faster than it is coming in, it seems that Edwards is spending as much time trying to rationalize how he is still a contender for the nomination as he is fundraising.
His visit included a town hall styled meeting that focused on healthcare at la Clinica De Famila, a non-profit community heath care center. Roughly 50-75 people came to hear Edwards speak. The loudest cries of support came from Edward's campaign staff. For the most part those gathered appeared to be sizing up the candidate, but one line stood out and received an enthusiastic response from the entire crowd
I don't take a back seat to anybody on what needs to be done to keep America safe we cannot allow people like John Ashcroft to take away our rights, take away our freedom [applause]
While Edwards didn't vote in favor of Attorney General John Ashcroft's confirmation, he did vote in favor of the law which he is now campaigning against, the USA PATRIOT ACT.