John Edwards vs. Ann Coulter and 'The Crazies'

By: E&P Staff and The Associated Press A day after his wife phoned in to challenge guest Ann Coulter on MSNBC's "Hardball," former Sen. John Edwards appeared on the same Chris Matthews show on Wednesday.

Sen. Edwards denounced columnist/author Coulter and twice referred to "the crazies" who support her or buy her books. Matthews seemed to back him fully -- a day after he had invited Coulter on the show knowing her reputation for outrageous comments (and her ability to earn him a ratings boost).

The Democratic presidential candidate said that Coulter's attacks are hurtful. His campaign used her remarks in an appeal for money.

His campaign cited her remarks in two e-mails to supporters for donations, with the fundraising deadline on Saturday.

It's not the first time Coulter has given the Edwards campaign a financial boost. In March, she called Edwards a ``faggot'' and the campaign used video of the comment to help raise $300,000 before the end of the first quarter.

In the e-mails, the campaign asked supporters to send donations to defy her remarks and help Edwards meet his goal of raising $9 million in the second quarter.

When Coulter appeared Tuesday on MSNBC's ``Hardball,'' Elizabeth Edwards called in to ask Coulter to stop making personal attacks on her husband. The exchanged deteriorated, with Coulter shouting over Mrs. Edwards and demanding that the campaign stop using her name to raise money if they want her to stop personal attacks. Response to the controversy was so large that it repeatedly crashed the server for MSNBC's political blog Wednesday.

Mrs. Edwards followed up with an e-mail to supporters Wednesday morning that included a clip of their exchange and a donation request. The campaign said they raised more money this week than from any previous e-mail campaign, but declined to give a total.

``I think when they engage in these attacks and use the language of hate, it's very important to stand up,'' Edwards said. ``What happens if you are silent when this kind of hateful language is used - not just by her, but by anyone - hate gets a foothold.''

Edwards pointed out that Coulter's attacks haven't been limited to him, but also included his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination. Coulter has made fun of Hillary Rodham Clinton's legs and compared Barack Obama to terrorists because his middle name is Hussein.

``What she said about Senator Clinton and Senator Obama is outrageous,'' Edwards said. ``And somebody has to stand up when she makes these kind of attacks.''


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