From NBC/NJ's Tricia Miller
Six days after Edwards released his controversial ad on health care in Iowa, he released the same ad today in New Hampshire.
"When I'm president I'm going to say to members of Congress and members of my administration, including my cabinet: I'm glad that you have health care coverage and your family has health care coverage," Edwards says in the ad. "But if you don't pass universal health care by July of 2009 -- in six months -- I'm going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you. There's no excuse for politicians in Washington having health care when you don't have health care."
Opponents have protested that the president doesn't have the power to withdraw the health insurance coverage of members of Congress and Cabinet members. Edwards spokesman Dan Leistikow said the point of the policy is not necessarily to take away members' health care but to motivate them to pass universal health care.
"Every Democrat would support a bill like that," Leistkow said, "and he said that he'll go into the districts of members of Congress that don't support it and name names and make sure that voters know where they stand. He's very willing to take on Republicans to get this done."
Edwards announced his plan to pass universal health care at the Laborers convention in Chicago on Sept. 17, the day Clinton released her universal health care plan in Iowa. Leistikow added there has been a "tremendous response" to the ad in Iowa and that he believes it can move votes.
"The ad shows that he's a Democrat with some backbone, and people respond very well to that," he said.