Sunday, February 3, 2008

"We are a better country than that"

Because NCCPR is non-partisan, and we take that seriously, I did not post the item below on this Blog when it happened, during a Democratic presidential debate on January 21. But now that the candidate who uttered the words, John Edwards, is out of the race, I thought I’d share this excerpt from the debate transcript:

JOHN EDWARDS: You know, we talk about 37 million Americans who live in poverty -- that's more than the population of California -- in the richest nation on the planet.

I've been to hundreds of places around this country who take care of the poorest of the poor, extraordinary, wonderful places. But I'll never forget, just a year or so ago, I was with a woman in Kansas City who told me the story -- worked full-time, worked full-time. She had several children.

Every night in the winter, she could not pay both her heating bill and her rent. She had to choose. Single mom, working full-time, she had to put her kids in all of their winter clothing, in their coats, bundle them up in the bed together, put as many blankets on top of them as she could.

And she'd get them out of bed in the morning and send them off to school. And the last thing she would say to them? "Please, for goodness's sakes, don't tell anybody at school what's happening here, because they'll come and take you away from me."

No mother in America should have to live like that. We are a better country than that.