After announcing his candidacy for President of the United States earlier this morning from New Orleans’s Upper Ninth Ward, Edwards took part in a live-blogging event on Daily Kos. Here are some excerpts:
On the genocide in Darfur:
There are lots of things America could do to end the genocide, including enforcement of the no-fly zone so that the Janjaweed militia don’t have air cover. Second is stronger, stricter economic sanctions against the Sudanese government, which supports the militias. And finally, tougher diplomacy with the Chinese, who are propping up the Sudanese government and therby the genocide.
We should first reject the escalation called for by Senator McCain and others. We need to make it clear we’re leaving Iraq by withdrawing 40,000-50,000 troops immediately, and continue that process over time so that the Iraqis take responsibility for themselves. There are no good options, but ultimately Iraq will require a political solution, not just military.
On improving the job market:
In the short term, we should provide college debt relief for those interested in working in areas where we need help — teching, nursing, homeland security, etc.
In the longer term, we need to address the wealth disparity in America, strengthen and grow the middle class, and thereby strenghten the economy. One of the ways to do that is by investing in a new energy economy, which can create new jobs and move America towards energy efficiency and away from the use of carbon based fuels, and help get America off its addiction to oil.
On health care:
I believe we need a universal health care system where ALL Americans have health care coverage. I’m working on a plan right now for universal healthcare, and if you have ideas I would love to hear them.
On the need for fair prescription drug policies:
Pharma got its way on the Medicare prescription drug bill, and as a result imports from Canada were not allowed, and the government using its market power to negiotiate prices was prohibited. We cannot let big pharma dictate public policy.
On educational reform:
We should take college for everyone national, and strengthening Pre-K is critical, by starting younger, more training for those who teach, and providing for the nutritional and healthcare needs of pre-k kids.
On the need to campaign nationally:
We have to compete everywhere if we want to be a strong national party — and if we want to truly change America.
Oh, and by the way, everyone on Cenla Antics seems to be talking about Wal-Mart. Well, here’s a video of John Edwards speaking at a Wake Up Wal-Mart rally earlier this year: