NASHUA -- Healthcare was the official topic of the day yesterday, but Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards made sure New Hampshire voters gave him another chance to say he was wrong as a senator to authorize the use of force in Iraq.
The visit to New Hampshire by Edwards was billed as a series of house meetings to promote his healthcare plan and his presidential bid. But less than five minutes after walking into the day's first house party, the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee turned to the subject that has consumed his party's contenders: Iraq.
"Honestly, if you don't bring up Iraq, I'll bring it up," the former North Carolina senator told about 150 people gathered in a state senator's living room and kitchen.
Edwards wanted to make sure everyone knew he regretted his Senate vote in 2002 that gave President Bush the authority to begin the war in Iraq.
Edwards said the United States should cap its level of troops at 100,000 and bring home more than 40,000 troops immediately. His proposal closely resembles that of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group report, which recommended a complete departure from Iraq by this time next year.