John Edwards Breaks Silence on Coulter's 'Faggot' Barb

Published March 05, 2007

| FoxNews.com

John Edwards responded Sunday to remarks by conservative commentator Ann Coulter in which she referred to the former North Carolina senator and current Democratic presidential candidate as a "faggot." Edwards said he condemned the slur, but was tight-lipped about his opinion of her.

"I think its important that we not reward hateful, selfish, childish behavior with attention," Edwards told reporters in Berkeley, Calif. "I also believe that is important for all of us to speak out against language of this kind; it is the place where hatred gets its foothold, and we can't stand silently by and allow this kind of language to be used."

The controversy erupted Friday during a speech the "Godless" author delivered at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C.

VIDEO: Ann Coulter's Controversial Comments

"I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,'" Coulter said.

On Saturday, Edwards' campaign tried to turn the barb into a rallying cry for fundraising and asked supporters to donate $100,000 in "Coulter Cash."

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Coulter's comments set off a mini-firestorm in the 2008 presidential horserace and sent some Republican candidates running for cover.

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who also spoke at the CPAC conference, called the comments "offensive," former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said the sharp-tongued commentator was "completely inappropriate," and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called the remarks "wildly inappropriate."

Coulter, who is no stranger to controversy, insists the comment was meant in jest.

"C'mon, it was a joke. I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean," Coulter told the New York Times.

Edwards, however, said the comments were no laughing matter and compared the slur to racial epithets he heard growing up in the South.

"Its not about me and its not about her; this is about what kind of country we want to live in," Edwards said.

When asked about his take on Coulter, Edwards simply replied: "Don't have one. Don't have anything to say about her."

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