Feingold on Edwards

One of the things that’s most vexing about John Edwards is the disconnect between his current rhetoric, message and policy prescriptions (which are quite progressive, and excellent) and his six-year record as a US Senator which was none of those things. In an interview yesterday, Russ Feingold went after Edwards for exactly that:

The one that is the most problematic is (John) Edwards, who voted for the Patriot Act, campaigns against it. Voted for No Child Left Behind, campaigns against it. Voted for the China trade deal, campaigns against it. Voted for the Iraq war … He uses my voting record exactly as his platform, even though he had the opposite voting record.

When you had the opportunity to vote a certain way in the Senate and you didn’t, and obviously there are times when you make a mistake, the notion that you sort of vote one way when you’re playing the game in Washington and another way when you’re running for president, there’s some of that going on.

At a press avail this morning, I asked Edwards what his response was and he said (testily), “I like Russ Feingold.” Then he took the next question. Edwards has been pretty forthright about admitting he made bad votes and even, in the case of Iraq, apologizing for them. But I’ve never heard any persuasive explanation of why he was such a lame senator. Was he listening to the wrong people? Blinded by ambition? Scared of veering too far left in North Carolina? I’d like to hear him or his campaign address this at some point.

Chris Hayes is the host of All In with Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

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