Presidential hopeful John Edwards is asking Iowans to choose a "trustworthy" candidate from among the Democrats running for the White House. The Edwards campaign rolled its red-white-and-blue campaign bus into the convention center in downtown Des Moines today for an event that saw Edwards kick-off the closing phase of his Iowa Caucus campaign.
"What I ask caucus-goers here in Iowa to do on behalf of our country is to make sure you caucus for somebody…who you believe is honest, who is sincere, who is trustworthy because you’re going to be in a place to evaluate that that most of America is not," Edwards said. Without naming names, Edwards argued against candidates who are "careful" and calculating, and Edwards called Iowans the "guardians" of "what kind of a human being" will be the next president.
"I ask you to judge us, every one of us, up or down — because we must have a president of the United States that can restore trust between the American people and the president and between the president and the rest of the world," Edwards said. It is "crunch time" according to Edwards, who later told reporters he’ll be stressing the "personal characteristics" he believes Iowa Caucus-goers want in a presidential candidate.
"Somebody who’ll be direct with ’em, honest with ’em, sincere," Edwards said. According to Edwards, he knows Iowans and what they care about and that gives him an advantage over rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in the stretch run.
"This feels like a dead heat to me," Edwards said. "I mean, I think among the three of us it’s very close and I think it’s impossible for any of us to predict with certainty what’s going to happen between now and the Caucus."
Audio: Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson reports. :45 MP3
AUDIO: Edwards speech (mp3 runs 15 min)
AUDIO: Edwards news conference (mp3 runs 5 min)