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Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Edwards: Bush, war must be stopped

Watch John Edwards in "The Situation Room" Tuesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said Tuesday the Democratically-controlled Congress must force President Bush to change course in Iraq, but the presidential candidate stopped short of offering support for a measure that proposes to cut off most of the funds for fighting the war.

"What I think is the president is dead wrong," Edwards told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux. "He is just dead wrong. If the president vetoes the bill that provides funding for the troops, then President Bush is not providing support and funding for the troops because he is the one who stopped the funding, and I think it's the responsibility of the Congress if he does that to stand firm, stand strong, send him another bill that provides funding for the troops by provides to start bringing the troops home."

However Edwards, who has long urged Democrats in Congress to use their appropriations power to alter the president's policy, stopped short of supporting a measure backed by Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats that calls for nearly a complete cut off of funds after March 31, 2008. The bill, written by war opponent Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisconsin, would provide money only for fighting Al-Qaeda, training Iraqis, and protecting American government workers.

"I can't tell ... from the description I've heard, enough about the specifics," he said "I think that what we ought to be doing is standing firm, standing strong and forcing this president to start drawing down troops," he said.

Regarding recently released poll numbers indicating he has bypassed Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, for second place in New Hampshire, Edwards declared his campaign is experiencing "momentum."

"I think it's pretty clear that this is a very competitive race," he said. "I've been moving up. We have some momentum now. I'm ahead in Iowa according to the public polls. I'm obviously right in the thick of things in New Hampshire. We have moved up significantly there."

The Democratic presidential candidate acknowledged that the outpouring of support for his wife Elizabeth, who recently announced her breast cancer had returned, likely contributed to his increase in the poll.

"I think people take their vote for president very, very seriously and I think a lot of what the attention has been is they've looked at both the things I want to do as president and looked at me and Elizabeth as human beings and made judgments and I suspect it's the result of that," he said.

-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

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