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John Edwards Discusses Coulter’s Politics of Hate

by Pamela Leavey

John Edwards was on HARDBALL on Thursday night, discussing Ann Coulter’s politics of hate and backed up his wife’s call in to the show the day before when Coulter was a guest. Edwards said:

JOHN EDWARDS: I applaud Elizabeth. I think that when people like Ann Coulter—and it‘s not just her, unfortunately, it‘s her and people just like her, Karl Rove and all those people. I mean, when they engage us in this kind of hate-mongering, you have to stand up to them. You have to stand up to them.

They start this fight, but we have to be willing to be strong and to fight back because if we don‘t, Chris, what happens is all the important things—men and women dying in Iraq, those who don‘t have health insurance, et cetera, their issues don‘t get heard. Instead, it‘s this—it‘s this low-level dialogue with this name-calling, which is what we see.

Watch the video here:

Coulter was on Morning Joe on Thursday morning continuing to spew her hatred. H/T to Greg Sargent on TPM Cafe for the video below:

The full transcript of John Edwards on HARDBALL, following the first quote above is as follows:

MATTHEWS: OK. Yes, Senator Edwards now, I guess the question last night was why didn‘t you make the call, rather than Elizabeth, to Ann Coulter on the HARDBALL set?

JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the simple answer to that is Elizabeth, I guess, heard her and knew she was on and called in. So I thought it was appropriate that I come on today.

MATTHEWS: OK. Did you talk with your wife, Elizabeth, beforehand about this, her decision to call in to the program?

JOHN EDWARDS: Elizabeth made this decision on her own to call in, I guess based on what she was hearing from Ann Coulter and I think something Ann Coulter had said a couple of days before.

MATTHEWS: Right. Well, what is your reaction to what you heard last night and heard today about what happened last night?

JOHN EDWARDS: I applaud Elizabeth. I think that when people like Ann Coulter—and it‘s not just her, unfortunately, it‘s her and people just like her, Karl Rove and all those people. I mean, when they engage us in this kind of hate-mongering, you have to stand up to them. You have to stand up to them.

They start this fight, but we have to be willing to be strong and to fight back because if we don‘t, Chris, what happens is all the important things—men and women dying in Iraq, those who don‘t have health insurance, et cetera, their issues don‘t get heard. Instead, it‘s this—it‘s this low-level dialogue with this name-calling, which is what we see.

MATTHEWS: Well, what do you make of the role of trash talk in politics generally, this willingness on the part of partisans to enrage the other side by going over the top? I mean, is that a smart tactic? Does it work? Does it debase the politics?

JOHN EDWARDS: Oh, it clearly debases the politics. There‘s no doubt about that. It makes it very difficult to talk about issues that affect people‘s day-to-day lives. And it‘s why, when this kind of hate-mongering and this hate language is used—and I just—I feel the need to point out this woman didn‘t just use it against me. I mean, the things she said about Senator Obama, the things she said about Senator Clinton, they all fall in the same category.

And they‘re calculated to create an emotional response. They‘re calculated to make people hate. And if you don‘t speak out against it, then that means you‘re tolerating this kind of language and it means you think it‘s OK. It‘s not OK.

MATTHEWS: What do you make of someone who‘s a person who writes a column, went to Michigan Law School, has a fine education, apparently, from what I can tell, is quite a writer, a good writer, uses comments like, I hope that the terrorists kill this guy, things like that? What do you make of that stuff? Where does it come from?

JOHN EDWARDS: Well, it means a couple things. Number one, she‘s smart enough to know better. She knows exactly what she‘s doing. She‘s not alone. I mean, if you look at what she‘s doing and you look at what‘s happened in the past, for example, the Swift Boating of Senator Kerry, I mean, I think a lot of this is very coordinated, very calculated. They intend to create a result.

And what they hope is that we won‘t say anything, we‘ll just let them continue this hateful dialogue. And we‘ll try and hope that the country will hear us talk about important things, issues that affect the lives of Americans every single day.

But we have to fight back, Chris. We have to be strong. We have to speak up. That‘s what Elizabeth did yesterday, and I‘m proud of her for it.

MATTHEWS: Elizabeth had one—I think Elizabeth may have made one strategic error last night. That‘s assuming that she could get Ann Coulter to express shame.

JOHN EDWARDS: Yes, I don‘t think she has any shame. There‘s no doubt about that. And her response to any effort to raise the dialogue, to talk about things that people care about, is to attack in a mean, hateful, mean-spirited way. I think that‘s just the way she behaves. That‘s who she is. And I think that‘s a lot of what we see from these people who are just—that are crazy. I mean…

MATTHEWS: Yes.

JOHN EDWARDS: … there‘s nothing remotely mainstream about them.

And normal people are repelled by them.

MATTHEWS: Well, how do you explain the fact that you see people with good educations walking around the streets of New York and Wall Street, people with big business jobs in equity firms—hedge fund people—all buying books by Ann Coulter?

How do you explain the fact that even last night‘s fight involving your wife, Elizabeth, and Ann Coulter probably helped her sell some more books to these kind of guys?

JOHN EDWARDS: Because I think there is a segment of the population that responds to this sort of hateful craziness. It‘s always been true, Chris. It‘s been true my whole lifetime.

When I was young, growing up in the South, people were very responsive to name-calling of African-Americans, prejudice and discrimination against African-Americans. And people would say the most outrageous, demeaning things about good human beings. And there would be a response.

And so there‘s always been hateful language, hate-mongering in this country. It‘s been true for as long as I‘ve been alive and it‘s still true today. But that doesn‘t mean we have to tolerate it. We have to speak out about it. We have to stand up.

MATTHEWS: Can you dismiss this as hate speech and negativity and debasing of the political process and at the same time have your campaign use the comments made by Ann Coulter to raise money? It‘s clearly part of your Web site e-mail campaign solicitation effort now. Two e-mails have gone out now to raise money off of Ann Coulter‘s attacks on you and your family. Do you think you can do both, attack her and exploit her?

JOHN EDWARDS: Here‘s what I think. I think that we can say to America that we‘re not going to tolerate this kind of behavior, we‘re not going to tolerate this kind of hate language and we‘re going to stand up and we‘re going to fight.

And if we ask Americans, other good Americans to join us in standing up and being strong, there‘s nothing wrong with that. And that‘s exactly what we‘re asking them to do. And I hope there‘ll be lots of people who will join us in standing up and doing the right thing.

MATTHEWS: Have you raised a great deal of money? There was a report today that you‘ve had your best, most successful e-mail hitting back at Ann Coulter that you‘ve had so far.

JOHN EDWARDS: We are raising money. I don‘t know the numbers. I hope they go up. I hope we get more and more people who join us in this cause because this is important.

MATTHEWS: Do you think people should buy Ann Coulter‘s books?

JOHN EDWARDS: No.

MATTHEWS: OK. We‘ll be right back. That‘s a good answer. John Edwards. We‘ll be right back with John Edwards, who‘s coming on tonight to follow up on that incident here last night involving Ann Coulter and her very strong words, many people believe over the line, against the Edwards family. We‘ll be right back with John Edwards.

I often wonder what leads people to such blind hatred and how people like Ann Coulter who knowingly lie about others and make things up about people to boost their own egos, can live with themselves. Ann Coulter knows no shame. Sadly, where she deserves no attention what-so-ever by the media or the blogosphere, she gets it. It’s hard to ignore…

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  • Elizabeth Edwards Takes on Ann Coulter
  • Elizabeth Edwards Confronts Ann Coulter on HARDBALL
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    4 Responses to “John Edwards Discusses Coulter’s Politics of Hate”

    1. I agree with Edwards here. There’s no reason for personal attacks, all Ann Coulter is doing is making her self look like a fool. She calls her self a political analyst, but she’s doing nothing but hate mongering.

    2. AC is making herself look like a hero….to her people.

      AC is making an awfully lot of money…. from her people.

      It doesn’t do any good to try to make any more, or any less of this than exactly what it is. Approached creatively (some stronger version of the Edwards approach perhaps) the style of “politics” being practiced by the talk show right wingers can motivate enough others to more than neutralize their votes, making them a liability. If and when that happens the stench starts to go away.

    3. Please contact MSNBC Hardball advertisers and ask them to stop sponsoring shows that feature the likes of Ann Coulter.

      Verizon, Celebrex (Pfizer), Toyota, Pearle Vision, Bayer Aspirin are leading sponsors of MSNBC and Hardball.

      Here’s an easy cut and paste email list to contact them.

      Remember what happened to Imus after Proctor & Gamble pulled their ad dollars?

      jeffrey.kindler@pfizer.com

      margaret.foran@pfizer.com

      leaddirector@pfizer.com

      auditchair@pfizer.com

      corpgovchair@pfizer.com

      ivan.g.seidenberg@verizon.com

      michele.c.shaw@verizon.com

      eric.rabe@verizon.com

      cdelvecchio@us.luxottica.com (Pearle Vision)

      sodland@officedepot.com

      rciavola@officedepot.com

      heiner.springer.hs@bayer-ag.de

      michael.schade.ms@bayer-ag.de

      jay.kolpon.b@bayer.com

      don_esmond@toyota.com

      pat_pineda@tma.toyota.com

    4. Marsha,

      Perfect, Thank you!