Teresa Heinz Kerry told TODAY host Meredith Vieira different women would make different decisions in the same situation and she will not second-guess Elizabeth Edwards' decision to carry on with her husband's presidential campaign while addressing her very serious medical issues.
"I think it is a very personal, difficult decision. I think Elizabeth is facing terrible odds," the wife of Massachusetts Senator John Kerry said. "She's a brave person. I think if you had 10 women in a room in the same role, you'd have three going this way, and four going that way ... I would make certain choices. Everybody makes their choice."
The Democratic senator, who ran against President George W. Bush with Edwards as his running mate three years ago, said he is not surprised by Edwards' decision to remain on the campaign trail. Elizabeth Edwards has said she would not have it any other way, and that she did not want her legacy to be that her cancer cost her husband the chance to be president.
"It's a very personal decision," Kerry, a prostate cancer survivor, told Vieira. "It's one a lot of people outside really can't and shouldn't comment on. We're not them, number one. And number two, we're not privy to every bit doctors have said to them. So they have to make their decision and people have to abide by it."
Edwards, a former U.S. Senator from North Carolina, said during an appearance Sunday on CBS's "60 Minutes" that he is in the presidential race for the "duration" and that no one should vote for him out of sympathy. He appeared on the program with his wife, who recently learned that cancer doctors addressed in 2004 with surgery and chemotherapy had returned and spread to her bones.
The Kerrys told Vieira that in their new book, "This Moment on Earth: Today's New Environmentalists and Their Vision for the Future," they write about the environmental causes of some cancers. "There is so much cancer, a lot of it, incidentally, environmentally induced in various things," John Kerry said. "Mercury, food, all kinds of chemicals — children are born today and traced with 200, 250 chemicals in their bloodstream at that moment of birth."
On an unrelated topic, Kerry, who is sitting the 2008 campaign, said he still supports efforts in Congress to attempt to compel the Bush administration to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq despite the reality that Democrats do not have enough votes to overcome a promised presidential veto.
"The President has already said he'll veto any measure like this. He calls this political theater ... What do you hope to accomplish? It sounds like it is political theater," Vieira said.
"No, it is not theater at all. It is very real, very serious," Kerry said. "If you believe the war was a mistake, and you believe there is a better course, it is important for us to show leadership. And that's what we are doing ... Last year, I brought that resolution before the Senate in August. I got 13 votes. This last time, I got 48 votes. We will keep fighting and keep pushing, and that's what is important."
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— John Springer, TODAYShow.com contributor