Vilsack says get troops out of Iraq |

Vilsack says get troops out of Iraq

Geoff Dornan and Jarid Shipley
Appeal Capitol Bureau

Former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack speaking before a crowd of about 600 at the Carson City Community Center said Congress must take the authority they have under the U.S. Constitution and tell the president to get the troops out of Iraq.

“If the troops are put any place, lets put them back in Afghanistan and do the job we were supposed to.”

Vilsack said the damage caused by the war has also seriously undermined and damaged the National Guard to the point where it can no longer handle emergencies and natural disasters it took care of for the states five years ago.

Vilsack too called for universal health care but can handle some of that cost by changing how that care is provided.

He said those without insurance don’t go without care.

“People get it but they get it in the most ineffective and expensive way,” he said pointing out those people make extensive use of emergency rooms.

“There are ways to do this without necessarily raising the tax burden on folks.”

Vilsack said he could win Nevada because, “I’ve won in a red state and made a red state a very blue state.”

former Senator and vice presidential candidate John Edwards made a direct pitch to the union members in the audience, saying: “If a person can join the Republican Party by signing a card, any worker should be able to sign a card to join a union.” And he said he would push for laws banning the hiring of permanent workers to replace strikers.

Edwards said he has a plan to provide universal health care in the U.S. and would pay for it by repealing the Bush Administration’s tax breaks for those making more than $200,000 a year.

He referenced Vilsack’s comments on health care by saying, “Anybody who comes to your state and tells you can have universal health care without raising taxes ” well, they might have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.”

He said it is time to stop the escalation of the Iraq war.

“We’ve had six years of a president who takes no responsibility for what he’s done. We’ve had six years of a president who can’t admit he’s made mistakes.”

Edwards said it’s time to change. He said he voted for the Iraq war but that “I was wrong.”

Asked how he would be different from the other candidates and the current administration Edwards said, “I think we’ve had too many politicians and not enough leaders.”

He said the nation needs “openness, honesty and decency” from its leaders.

“We need to have a president we can have confidence and trust in. The world needs us to have a president it can have confidence and trust in.”

“America in the last six years needs to do a lot to recover,” said New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said.

He said the next president has to find ways to bring the nation together “in an atmosphere of civility.”

He said it is critical that the next presidency “address the huge problems of the middle class.” He said that includes letting union working families be part of the system.

For Iraq, he said it’s time to leave.

“Congress authorized this war. Now they should deauthorize this war.

He also said America “must fight to make this country energy independent.

Richardson said his international experience including as UN ambassador under President bill Clinton and acting as Clinton’s trouble shooter in several international situations uniquely qualifies him for the job of President.

On health care, Richardson said he like a a couple of the other speakers believes it can be done without raising taxes.

“The problem is the excessive cost s of health care.”

He said the administrative costs of the U.S,. system of health care is 31 percent and argued that can be greatly reduced by cooperative efforts between providers, local, state and the federal governments.

To make it work, he said the federal government must give more flexibility.

Asked about his positioning in the polls, Richardson said, “We have the annointed three, but pundits aren’t making this decision. The primary voters are.”

About Yucca Mountain, and nuclear storage there, he said, “I belive we must make that decision based on science and not on politics.”