Edwards says votes count, not money

MOULTONBOROUGH, N.H. (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is downplaying the huge fund-raising advantage his chief rivals have amassed.

Hilary Clinton raised more than 22 (m) million dollars in the second quarter. Barack Obama came up with a whopping 32 and a-half (m) million.

The Edwards campaign pulled in nine (m) million dollars, but he says he's on target to have all it'll take to compete seriously in the early states where the nomination will likely be decided.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Edwards says money won't be the deciding factor. He says Democrats want to win the White House and will nominate somebody who can. As he puts it, "This is not an intellectual exercise."

Edwards and his family are taking a three-day break from the campaign. And they're doing it at a photo-op-perfect vacation cottage in New Hampshire, which is the first of the primary states. As Edwards notes, there's never a "complete break" in a presidential campaign. He says this is "about as relaxed as it can be."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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