John Edwards officially announced his candidacy today for the presidential nomination of the Democratic party in 2008. He was in New Orleans this morning when he spoke with CNBC’s John Harwood and Michelle Caruso-Cabrera on “Morning Call.” Edwards talked about some of the key platforms for his campaign. It's his second try for the White House. He lost the presidential nomination to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry in 2004 and then was on the losing Democratic ticket with Kerry as the vice presidential nominee.
Harwood called Edwards the most populist candidate in the race so far because of his focus on raising the minimum wage, taxing the wealthy and making union organizing easier. He asked the former North Carolina senator whether or not Wall Street should be worried about him getting elected.
“I think just the opposite,” Edwards replied. “The kinds of things that I think we need to be doing to strengthen and grow America over the long term are the kinds of things business will embrace.”
What kinds of things does Edwards have in mind? The creation of a new energy economy – getting the U.S. off its oil addiction – and boosting the middle class, which Edwards said has always been the foundation for long-term growth in America.
Countering a point by Caruso-Cabrera that the economy is already strong, with the Dow hitting record highs, Edwards said the problem was that most of America lacks the capital to enjoy this bull run. Also, these are short-term gains, and Edwards is focused on the entire country over the long term.
And while he doesn’t agree with trade tariffs on Chinese goods, Edwards does want the U.S. to reevaluate its trade standards with other countries. He said that some of the trade agreements the U.S. had in the past haven’t had meaningful labor and environmental standards.
“Over the long term, American is going to have to trade,” Edwards said. “It’s just going to have to be done the right way.”
Edwards was in New Orleans to point out what he calls the lack of effort to rebuild that city after Hurrican Katrina.