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Edwards Calls for Four Debates
By Blake Murphy, 10, Virginia
Scholastic Student Reporter

Scholastic Student Reporter Blake Murphy and Senator John Edwards. Click on the picture to read more about Blake. (Photo courtesy of Blake Murphy)
Friday, February 20—Senator John Edwards announced today that instead of having one debate with Senator John Kerry, he wants four debates. He made the announcement while addressing a packed community room at Prince Georges Community College in Largo, Maryland.

Four debates would allow Senator Edwards to possibly answer one of the biggest questions facing him: Is he the better candidate to beat President George W. Bush in the General Election on November 2?

"I have been attracting independent voters that we have to get to win an election," Edwards said. He said his appeal goes beyond just Democrats.

So far, Kerry is the front-runner in the race. Edwards has only won in South Carolina, where he was born. (He represents North Carolina in the Senate.) He has followed as a close second to Kerry in several other states, however.

Edwards also emphasized his campaign theme of the "Two Americas," at his town-hall meeting in Maryland. Edwards says America has one system for the rich, and one system for the working poor. No child should go to bed hungry, and all children should have clothes to keep themselves warm, Edwards said. He also wants to provide kids in America with health care and a college education. While the Senator's position appealed to many in the audience, he did not account for how he intended to pay for all these services.

If Edwards is elected President and must appoint federal judges, he promised that he would only appoint those individuals who promised to enforce civil rights. As to foreign affairs, the Senator explained that this country has earned disrespect from the rest of the world and that, if elected, he would attempt to rebuild foreign relations.

Finally, Edwards acknowledged that he would not attack the other candidates. He stated that if the people sitting in the audience wanted to see him attack another candidate, they needed to support someone else. While he promised an attack-free campaign, Edwards made it clear that he was not going to back down from his main opponent—John Kerry.