The transcript of Elizabeth Edwards calling in to Hardball
MATTHEWS: You know who is on the line? Somebody to respond to what you said about Edwards yesterday morning. Elizabeth Edwards. She wanted to call in today. We said she could.
Elizabeth Edwards, go on the line. You‘re on the line with Ann Coulter.
ELIZABETH EDWARDS, WIFE OF JOHN EDWARDS: Hello, Chris.
MATTHEWS: Do you want to say something directly to the person who is with me?
EDWARDS: I‘m calling—you know, in the South, we—when someone does something that displeases us, we want to ask them politely to stop doing it.
I would like to ask Ann Coulter to—if she wants to debate on issues, on positions, we certainly disagree with nearly everything she said on your show today. But—but it is quite another matter to—for these personal attacks.
That‘s—the things that she has said over the years, not just about John, but about other candidates, is—lowers our—our political dialogue precisely at the time that we need to raise it.
So, I—I want to use the opportunity, which I don‘t get much, because Ann and I don‘t hang out with the same people—to ask…
COULTER: … have enough money.
EDWARDS: …. her politely to stop the personal attacks.
COULTER: OK. So, I made a joke, let‘s see, six months ago.
And, as you point out, they have been raising money off of it for six months, since then.
MATTHEWS: But this is yesterday morning, what you said about him.
COULTER: I didn‘t say anything about him, actually, either time.
EDWARDS: Ann knows—you know that‘s not true.
And, what‘s more, this has been going on for some time.
COULTER: And I don‘t mind you trying to raise money. I mean, it‘s better this than giving $50,000 speeches to the poor…
EDWARDS: I‘m asking you—I‘m asking you politely…
COULTER: … just to use my name on the Web pages.
But, as for a debate with me, yes, sure.
EDWARDS: I‘m asking you politely…
COULTER: Yes, we will have a debate.
EDWARDS: … to stop—to stop personal attacks.
COULTER: How about you stop raising money on your Web page, then?
COULTER: No, you don‘t have to, because I don‘t mind.
EDWARDS: It did not start with that. You had a column a number of years ago…
COULTER: Great. OK.
EDWARDS: … where you suggested that…
COULTER: The wife of a presidential candidate is calling in, asking me to stop speaking?
MATTHEWS: Let her finish the point. Let her finish the point.
COULTER: You‘re asking me to stop speaking? Stop writing your columns. Stop writing your books.
MATTHEWS: Ann, please.
EDWARDS: You had a column a couple of years ago which—which made fun of the moment of Charlie Dean‘s death, and suggested that my husband had a bumper sticker on the back of his car that said, “Ask me about my dead son.”
COULTER: That‘s now three years ago.
EDWARDS: This is not legitimate political dialogue. It debases political dialogue. It drives people away from the process. We can‘t have a debate about issues if you‘re using this kind of language.
COULTER: Yes, why isn‘t John Edwards making this call?
MATTHEWS: Well, do you want to respond? We will end this conversation.
EDWARDS: I have not talked to John about this call.
COULTER: I think this is just another attempt for…
EDWARDS: I‘m making this call as a mother. I‘m the mother of that boy who died. My children participate. These young people behind you are the age of my children. You‘re asking them to participate in a dialogue that is based on hatefulness and ugliness, instead of on the issues.
And I don‘t—I don‘t think that is serving them or this country very well.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
MATTHEWS: Thank you very much, Elizabeth Edwards.
Do you want to—you have all the time in the world to respond to that.
COULTER: I think we heard all we need to hear. The wife of a presidential candidate is asking me to stop speaking.
MATTHEWS: No, she said you should stop being so negative to people individually.
COULTER: Right, as opposed to bankrupting doctors by giving a shyster Las Vegas routine in front of juries, based on science…
COULTER: Wait. You said I would have as long as I would have.
MATTHEWS: Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead.
COULTER: And you instantly interrupt me.
MATTHEWS: Go ahead. Go ahead.
COULTER: As I was saying, doing these psychic routines in front of illiterate juries to bankrupt doctors, who now can‘t deliver babies, and to charge a poverty group $50,000 for a speech. Don‘t talk to me about how to use language.
EDWARDS: … language of hate. And I am going to ask you again to politely stop using personal attacks as part of your dialogue.
COULTER: OK, I will stop writing books.
MATTHEWS: Why do you talk about…
EDWARDS: If you can‘t write them without them, then that is fine.