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Power Lunch

CNBC's Harwood: Edwards Won't Forget His Roots

As we reported this morning, John Edwards – the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 2004 – announced his bid for the presidency in 2008 today while in New Orleans. CNBC’s John Harwood and Newsweek White House correspondent Richard Wolffe were on “Power Lunch,” discussing what an Edwards win would mean for Wall Street.

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Wolffe expressed some doubts about Edwards’ ability to find workable solutions to the problems he sees. While appearing on “Morning Call” today, Edwards called CEO compensation economically unfair and called for changes to be made. But Wolffe wants to know if the former North Carolina senator has a concrete plan? Will he call for new regulatory approaches? “I just don’t see him doing anything about it,” Wolffe said.

Harwood again pointed out Edwards’ populist leanings this time around, despite a record somewhat in favor of free trade. Edwards voted for normal trade relations with China while he was in office, but his courtship of labor unions has him singing a different tune now. The presidential hopeful is calling for a change in the terms of the trade debate.

Harwood says the “work not wealth” message Edwards is putting forward is reflected in his proposals to raise dividend and capital gains taxes while cutting taxes for the middle class. Edwards has made a sizeable income as a trial lawyer, but the son of a textile worker says he’s not going to forget his roots.