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Edwards presidential campaign removes 'war on terror' from Web site
Nick Juliano
Published: Thursday May 3, 2007
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(Edwards campaign responds to scrubbing report)

In his latest attempts to attract support from the anti-war wing of the Democratic party, former Sen. John Edwards is criticizing the administration's use of the phrase "global war on terror," though the senator has used the same or similar constructions several times in his political career.

In recent days the Edwards campaign has removed a reference to the "war on terror" from the candidate's official Web page, after calling the language nothing more than "a political frame and political rhetoric."

Until Wednesday, Edwards' site said he believed "winning the war on terror requires wisdom and moral strength, as well as military might," according to a Google cache of the page accessed by RAW STORY. The page, entitled "Strengthening Domestic Defense" now talks about "winning the fight against terrorists."

Speaking to a crowd of union members in Portland on Wednesday, Edwards bragged that he did not agree with opponents Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama when Democrats were asked at their first debate whether they believe there is such a thing as a global war on terror.

"And I did not. And I said, I took that position at the debate," Edwards told the crowd, according to a transcript and recording posted at MyDD.com. "This is a political frame and political rhetoric. They (the Bush administration) use it to justify everything they do. They use that language to justify the war in Iraq. They use it to justify Guantanamo. They use it to justify torture. They use it to justify illegal spying on the American people."

"As John Edwards explained, he believes the Bush global war on terror doctrine has backfired and has called for a bolder more thoughtful approach to keeping America secure, which does not rely on raw military power alone," Edwards spokesman Eric Schultz told RAW STORY. "We are rejecting this Bush doctrine everywhere and our web site reflects that."

In an interview with Time magazine published Wednesday, Edwards said the use of the phrase "has created a frame that is not accurate."

Prior to last month's debate, Edwards had referenced the "war on terror" in speeches, interviews and other public forums. References to the phrase can still be found in other parts of his Web site.

"To win the war on terror," Edwards wrote on his campaign blog in September, "we must preserve our moral authority to lead the world."

Edwards' Portland speech was not his only outreach to anti-war voters, who are expected to play a high-profile role in Democratic primaries. Following President Bush's veto of a war-funding bill that would have called for US troops to withdraw from Iraq, Edwards released a campaign commercial exhorting Congress to refuse to send the president a bill that does not include exit timelines.