A self-proclaimed "underdog" in the Democratic presidential race paid a visit to Reno voters Wednesday. John Edwards spoke to a crowd of several hundred at the Grand Sierra Resort, urging people to vote in the Democratic caucus Saturday.
Democrats from all over Nevada and California crowded in to hear the former vice presidential candidate speak. He talked about change, his plans to become a voice for the middle class...and he begged people to look past numbers in the polls.
"The caucus-goers in Nevada have been told for a year now, they have two choices, and anyone who watched the debate last night suddenly realized they have three choices. When they test voters, they almost always come to me and that's because they haven't heard me. If they hear what I have to say and they hear how personal it is, they respond," said Edwards.
He dubbed himself the "underdog," but he says he's committed to a grassroots campaign, not one funded by corporate giants. If elected, he promised to bring every soldier home from Iraq within the first year of his presidential term.
The former senator spoke about the importance of universal health care, and he talked about a plan to stimulate our slow economy without paying into it.
"This thing is very personal for me. The fight on behalf of our children and grandchildren and to make the middle class stronger and give everyone a real chance in this country. That's what the campaign is for me," said Edwards.
Edwards says he's different from the two front-runners, but he wants voters to make their own judgment. He asked Northern Nevadans to consider what he has to offer, and look past the victories of his front-running opponents. We asked voters for their reaction to his speech.
"I think he does have the experience we need. He's been a senator, a lawyer, he's championed the little people. I think his ideas will take the U.S. in the direction we need to go," said Rory Litch of Fernley.
"This guy is the closes guy I know to Harry Truman. I would have voted for him but I'm not old enough," said Ed Hill, who traveled from the Bay Area to hear the candidate speak.
"We've dealt eight years with the Bush administration. I just really want to see a lot more progress," said first-time Nevada voter, Ximena Limone of Reno.
One question that was put to Edwards was how he feels about the fact that Nevada's largest union, the Culinary Worker's Union, is backing Obama.
Edwards says says that he, too, has been working picket lines and also has a lot of union members behind him. Furthermore, he says people will vote for a candidate based on values, not necessarily endorsements.