Edwards buys TV time to rebut Bush

Instead of waiting for an invitation, former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) purchased two minutes of airtime on MSNBC Thursday night to rebut President Bush’s nationally televised address to the nation to discuss the war in Iraq.

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The Edwards campaign declined to disclose the cost of the buy, but it said that Edwards would “remind the American people that Congress can — and must — force an immediate withdrawal from Iraq.”

The taped ad will feature Edwards speaking to the camera, and his campaign says it is the first time a Democratic presidential candidate has taken to the airwaves to challenge Bush on the war. Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Overnight Defense: Embattled Pentagon policy nominee withdraws, gets appointment to deputy policy job | Marines, sailor killed in California training accident identified | Governors call for extension of funding for Guard's coronavirus response Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE (R.I.) is scheduled to give the formal Democratic response.

The ad follows reams of press releases Edwards has inundated the media with in recent days, weeks and months as he seeks to distinguish his voice on Iraq from that of his Democratic presidential rivals, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaKamala Harris makes history — as a Westerner Poll: 15 percent of Democratic voters want to eliminate the filibuster Donald Trump has done more for African Americans than we think MORE (Ill.).

The campaign released selected excerpts of Edwards’s speech to the media Thursday, and a spokeswoman said the clip would likely be viewable on the campaign’s website after it airs Thursday night.

“Unfortunately, the president is pressing on with the only strategy he’s ever had — more time, more troops and more war,” Edwards is expected to say. The former senator is also planning to put pressure on Congress, where his main rivals have their day jobs.

“Congress must answer to the American people,” Edwards is expected to say. “Tell Congress you know the truth — they have the power to end this war and you expect them to use it. When the president asks for more money and more time, Congress needs to tell him he only gets one choice: a firm timeline for withdrawal.”