Edwards to Imus: Bush Left U.S. Open to Nuke Attack<br><br>In his harshest attack yet during the presidential campaign, vice presidential candidate John Edwards said Wednesday that the Bush administration had left the U.S. more vulnerable to a nuclear attack by terrorists - then began to backpedal on the charge moments later.<br><br>Asked if he agreed with Sen. Ted Kennedy, who accused the White House on Monday of leaving America vulnerable to a terrorist nuclear strike, Edwards told radio host Don Imus: "I do. ... It certainly has made us more vulnerable to the possibility of a nuclear attack."<br><br>The exchange went like this:<br><br>IMUS: Senator Kennedy said the other day that the Bush administration's obsession with Iraq has made this country more vulnerable to a nuclear attack by terrorists, which is pretty strong. Do you agree with that?<br><br>EDWARDS: I do.<br><br>IMUS: Oh, you do?<br><br>EDWARDS: I do.<br><br>IMUS: How so?<br><br>EDWARDS: Well, because if you look - did you say by terrorists? Was that at the end of that sentence?<br><br>IMUS: Yes, sir.<br><br>EDWARDS: Umm - it certainly made us more vulnerable to the possibility of a nuclear attack. [END OF EXCERPT]<br><br>Moments later, however, Edwards began backpedaling on his agreement with Sen. Kennedy, making the astonishing admission that he had no idea what Kennedy had said.<br><br>IMUS: The vice president implied ... that if you're elected, it would make a terrorist attack more likely. Is that what you're saying now?<br><br>EDWARDS: About who?<br><br>IMUS: President Bush and Vice President Cheney – that electing them would invite a terrorist nuclear attack?<br><br>EDWARDS: That's not what I ...<br><br>IMUS: Well, Senator Kennedy seemed to be saying ...<br><br>EDWARDS: That's not what I – that's certainly not what I was saying. That's why I asked you a minute ago, because I had not heard what Senator Kennedy said – the business about the terrorists being at the end. What I know is true is that Iran and North Korea have moved forward with their nuclear weapons program[s].<br><br>This president has basically ceded the responsibility for dealing with Iran to the Europeans and with the North Koreans to the Chinese – which is a huge mistake because they create such a threat to America that it creates a much more serious nuclear threat to America. [END OF EXCERPT]<br><br>On Monday Sen. Kennedy claimed that President Bush had left the U.S. vulnerable to a "nuclear 9/11," arguing, "The war in Iraq has made the mushroom cloud more likely, not less likely."<br><br><br><br>
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