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Edwards: "Dean and I Fight the Same Fight"

John Edwards, from his blog:

"What a flap has arisen over a disagreement about the way something is said! I was in Nashville over the weekend, thanking the good people of Tennessee who supported the Democratic presidential ticket this year, when I was asked whether I thought that it was fair to say that people who were Republican hadn’t done a good day’s work. Of course, I didn’t think so, and I said that. I don’t think our DNC chair, Howard Dean, would put it that way again if asked either. I disagreed with him, and I said so. And, I want to be clear, I would have to say so again if I were asked again. I said a lot of good things about Howard’s outreach program and invigoration of the internet as a communication and fundraising tool, but no one wrote about that. Instead the headlines blared that I disagreed with Howard. And then the flap arose: A chasm! A split! A revolt!

Instead, how about: Nonsense!
We are both talking about the Republicans and their failure to address the needs of working people. We both agree with this basic truth: This Republican president and this Republican majority are not doing what they should be doing for working people in this country. That’s a core belief we need to fight for. And what’s more, we agree that we - all Democrats and all working people - should be complaining, criticizing, and generally speaking out about this critical failure of the Republican party and offering our positive vision for America. And we have.

Howard and I have been saying the same thing about this for years. Hear that? The same thing. For years. Have I ever put it some way that Howard wouldn't agree with? Probably. And he put it in a way, once, just the other day, that I can’t agree with, since I come from a place where hard-working people, who are better served by the agenda and passion of the Democrats, somehow still vote Republican. But Howard and I are committed to a 50-state strategy that will reach out to those voters, in North Carolina, and in Kansas, and in Tennessee, across this country and tell the truth about what is happening in this country to their jobs, to their health care, to their forests and streams, to their vision of what this country is and should be.

This President is not fighting for our jobs.

Our labor laws have seen weak enforcement during the time we have had this Republican administration in place. Companies that skirt this country’s labor laws have gotten a slap on the hand, and even that has come too slowly. Efforts to allow workers to choose whether to unionize have not been protected in the way that they should, and the mutually beneficial bargain between labor and management that made this country the greatest economic power in the world has been broken, all while the Republican administration and Republican majority stand idle, with their hands dug deep in their pockets.

Those working people I grew up with that I talked about earlier live where I lived, in our rural communities, which is exactly where this Republican president wants to cut broadband extension, firefighter grants and investment and market access programs that will protect our rural jobs....

And this President has made choices that, if enacted by the Republican majority in Congress, will deny the opportunity to learn the skills for a new job to an untold number of Americans. Vocational and adult education would be cut by 89%. He wants to drastically cut adult education and retraining programs that allow American workers to better their skills either to get ahead or to get a new job when theirs leaves for overseas.

And if you happen to be a working man or woman in the United States military, this Republican president doesn’t support loan forgiveness for your student loans or top quality health care when you get out of the military.

The safety net is eroding. The ladder has been pulled up. This is not new. For more than two decades, the Republican Party has talked about an agenda that addresses concerns of working people while they have passed an agenda that serves the goals of the wealthiest among us.

Howard and I know that these are the wrong choices for America. We won’t always use the same words. But we will always fight the same fight: for the dignity, the respect, and the rights of those who built this country, the working people in America.

Your friend,

John"
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