Democratic Presidential Candidate Edwards Thanks Student AIDS Advocates for Interrupting Speech, Raising Issue of Global AIDS
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) on Thursday during a speech to about 1,000 students at Columbia University in New York thanked a group of student HIV/AIDS advocates who interrupted his speech for raising the issue of global AIDS, the Raleigh News & Observer reports. According to the News & Observer, a group of students wearing red shirts stood up about 25 minutes into Edwards' speech and chanted, "Campaign on AIDS, campaign on AIDS, campaign on AIDS." The News & Observer reports that Edwards, "after a brief hesitation," thanked the student advocates for attending the speech, adding, "Thank you for raising that issue. ... How about a round of applause for them? They're right." (Wagner, Raleigh News & Observer, 2/20). According to CNN's "Live Today," Edwards gave the advocates a thumbs up and said that the "same moral responsibility" U.S. residents have for ending poverty "should carry over" to fighting global HIV/AIDS (Franken, "Live Today," CNN, 2/19). Jonathan Jacoby, one of the students who interrupted the speech, said he was "disappointed" that Edwards has not discussed the global AIDS crisis in his campaign speeches. "It's too bad we have to interrupt him, but he needs to campaign on this issue," Jacoby said (Raleigh News & Observer, 2/20).
A video excerpt of the "Live Today" segment is available online in RealPlayer. The complete transcript of the segment also is available online.
CNN's "News from CNN" also reported on the advocates' interruption (Lothian, "News from CNN," CNN, 2/19). The complete transcript of the segment is available online.
Kerry Gets a Condom
While campaigning in Madison, Wis., on Tuesday, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) was approached by filmmaker Sharon Sopher, who interrupted Kerry's handshaking with audience members to hand him a postcard that had a pink-wrapped condom attached to it, the Chicago Tribune reports. "I want to give you this, if you would keep this condom as a reminder when you're president of the need to inform the American public about the threat of AIDS," Sopher, who recently made the film "HIV Goddesses: Stories of Courage," said. According to the Tribune, Kerry "cut her off, his tone slightly clipped," and he did not reach for the condom. "I actually don't need it as a reminder," Kerry, who has been a leader in Congress in the fight against AIDS, said, adding, "I'm well -- I wrote the legislation that includes -- you might want to give that to somebody for whom it's a real education." However, Sopher insisted that Kerry take the condom, saying, "This is about women and AIDS in America. I appreciate all your work." Kerry took the condom, put it in his pocket and said, "Thank you," according to the Tribune (Zuckman, Chicago Tribune, 2/19).