WASHINGTON – Elizabeth Edwards, wife of presidential hopeful former Senator John Edwards, says her choices in life have made her happier than Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton — a possible Edwards' rival for the Democratic nomination.
"She and I are from the same generation," Elizabeth Edwards said Thursday. "We both went to law school and married other lawyers, but after that we made other choices. I think my choices have made me happier. I think I'm more joyful than she is,"
Speaking at a luncheon sponsored by the Ladies Home Journal, Edwards said she did not know the New York senator very well but said Clinton would be "a formidable opponent" for her husband, the Democrats' 2004 vice presidential nominee.
Edwards released a statement Friday evening disputing reports about the event.
"Unfortunately, large portions of the material released by (Ladies' Home Journal) as quoted statements by me were erroneous and nearly all the statements, either because of significant omissions, or editing, or error, give a misimpression about what I said," Edwards said. "This is particularly true with respect to my comments about Sen. Clinton, who holds a serious and demanding public office while I am largely home, joyfully I must admit, with two lovely children."
Edwards also said she has "great respect" for the senator.
Asked for specific examples of errors, a spokeswoman for Edwards' One America Committee said the magazine's transcript combined answers to two questions into one quote. Also, her comments about being joyous referred to previous experiences and were not meant to be a contemporary comparison, said the spokeswoman, Kim Rubey.
Ladies' Home Journal, which provided a transcript, said it was accurate.
Edwards, who is promoting her memoir "Saving Graces," recalled on Thursday an occasion when Clinton surprised her by showing up for dinner at the Edwards' home.
"Apparently, she had confirmed with John just a little while earlier but news hadn't reached me," Edwards said, according to a transcript provided by the magazine. "We didn't have enough shepherd's pie in the fridge so we ate salmon and cabbage — lots of it. She loves cabbage and so do I."
Edwards recalled how as first lady Clinton deftly answered questions on Capitol Hill during testimony on President Bill Clinton's health care proposal.
"As a woman, you couldn't help cheering from the sidelines," Edwards said. "That will be a factor for John. She will be a formidable opponent."
A call to Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines for comment was not returned.