Faircloth ads Monday began criticizing John Edwards, one of six Democrats in the primary, as a lawyer ``who makes millions suing people.''
Edwards said his lawsuits generally involve average people who take on big insurance companies.
``Those are the same people I want to go to Washington and represent,'' Edwards said. ``And the money I'm spending on this campaign is the money I have made representing people against big insurance companies.
``Faircloth is spending money to keep me from doing that. The money he is spending is coming from big insurance companies, PACs (political action committees) and Washington lobbyists.''
Faircloth's ads blame higher health care costs on lawsuits filed by Edwards and other personal injury lawyers.
``Who's paying for candidate John Edwards' political ads?'' the Faircloth ad asks. ``You are.''
Chuck Fuller, Faircloth's campaign manager, said the ads ``tell voters the truth'' about the money Edwards is spending on his own campaign.
``The people of North Carolina are paying for personal injury lawyer John Edwards' ads when they are forced to pay higher health care costs,'' Fuller said.
Edwards made millions in lawsuits ``and now he is spending our money on slick TV ads,'' Fuller said. ``I think North Carolinians would rather have lower health care costs than to see medical malpractice lawyer John Edwards' ads over and over again every night.''
Edwards, who has never run for political office before, has been running television ads since late February, financing them with more than $2 million in loans to his campaign.
D.G. Martin, Edwards' main competitor in the May 5 Democratic primary, has been running television ads for the last two weeks.
Fuller said Martin and former Charlotte city councilwoman Ella Scarborough also could face ads before the primary if they ``continue to knowingly distort Senator Faircloth's record.''
Three other little-known Democrats are vying for the nomination, and Faircloth faces primary opposition from two political unknowns. From Staff and Wire reports
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