Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards unveiled his rural revitalization ideas yesterday in Nevada at the same energy research facility President Bush visited when he was a candidate. Edwards says Bush stood on the same ground and promised more federal spending on alternative energy research. Edwards says as Preisdent, Bush has cut federal spending on such research. Edwards’ own proposals include a BILLION dollar federal economic development fund exclusively for businesses and entrepreneurs in rural America as well as bonuses for those who decide to teach in rural schools. During his speech yesterday in Nevada, Edwards stressed his own roots in a small town in North Carolina. Edwards says jobs in his hometown have been shipped to textile mills in Mexico and China; farmers are going under and schools are finding it difficult to keep and attract teachers. Edwards says the Democrat who faces George Bush must appeal to rural America, where Bush ran especially strong in 2000.Edwards says he can compete with Bush in small towns and rural areas in the Midwest and the south where Edwards come from, and the North Carolina Senator says that’s crucial if Democrats hope to unseat the Republican President. Some of Edwards’ Democrat opponents, however, say Edwards failed to support a bill many in rural America thought crucial to small family farmers. Edwards voted against a bill that would have banned corporations from owning livestock, and he defends that vote. Edwards says he’s always “been about small farmers” and if elected would enforce the nation’s anti-trust laws more vigorously than any president since Teddy Roosevelt who cracked down on business monopolies at the beginning of the 20th century.
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