Edwards Sharpens Criticism of Clinton, Obama

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John Edwards sharpened his criticism of Democratic front-runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during a speech in Reno tonight. He says they are helping turn the party into the champion of special interests.

Edwards told more than 200 people jammed into a union hall that he doesn't like the way the party has changed. He says he can't believe that the leading Democrats now take more money from drug companies and insurance companies than the Republicans.

The former North Carolina senator repeated his theme of being the only Democrat in the race who has never taken money from lobbyists or political action committees. But unlike a similar speech at a Reno hotel-casino on yesterday, he called Senators Clinton and Obama out by name.

Edwards says Clinton has taken more money than any other candidate from oil and gas companies. He says she has stopped short of backing a plan to allow bankruptcy courts to restructure loans to avoid home foreclosures because the mortgage lending industry opposes the idea.

As for Obama, he says Obama's health care plan is not truly universal. He says it leaves as many as 15 (M) Million Americans uncovered.