HANOVER, N.H. – Former Senator John Edwards said that if he was elected president he would spend the first 100 days visiting foreign countries in an attempt to improve the way those countries feel about the United States.
Speaking to 500 people at Dartmouth College, Edwards said the nation's image has been hurt during George W. Bush’s presidency.
“I don’t mean to do this just so we can feel good,” said Edwards. “We need to do this because the fact is that when America doesn’t lead, there is no leader in the world. No one else can do it.”
He then argued for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and intervention in the Darfur region of Sudan, where the US has declared that genocide is taking a place.
This was Edwards second trip to the state in the month since he announced he was running for president. Those trips – first to Portsmout, and Wednesday to Hanover – were to two of the most liberal pockets of the state.
The Dartmouth crowd was reserved, absent the applause that might be expected in a town hall-style setting.
Among those in the crowd were Dartmouth freshman Tyler Quinn, a Democrat from the Seattle area. Quinn said he plans to get involved in next year’s presidential primary, but after hearing Edwards he wants to also hear from Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
“He had some good things to say,” said Quinn. “At this point I am still waiting for the big names.”