John Edwards hears it from Jason Vines

Jason Vines, Chrysler's VP of Communications, read about John Edward's comments about SUV buying and just couldn't hold his tongue. Democratic presidential hopeful Edwards let slip during a speech to a labor group that Americans should sacrifice their SUVs in favor of more fuel efficient vehicles. While there are undoubtedly many people out there who have SUVs for their trendiness and perceived indestructibility, many SUVs are owned by people who truly need them. And those are the people Vines is defending. He blasts Edward's hypocrisy for asking civilians to give up their freedom of choice, when the presidential hopeful must realize that Secret Service motorcades are full of large SUVs.

And what does the presidential hopeful and his family use for personal transport? Jalopnik reports that Edwards drives a Cadillac SRX, and while his spokespeople claim the senator drives a hybrid SUV (they're all the rage on Capital Hill) around his home state of North Carolina, the family also reportedly has another SUV and a small truck.

[Source: Chrysler]

The Trabant, the vehicle for the masses, regardless of need
Jason Vines,
Chrysler VP of Communications
I can only hope that Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards suffered a momentary slip of the tongue. But during a speech to a labor group, Edwards reportedly said that Americans should sacrifice their SUVs in favor of more fuel efficient vehicles.

Sacrifice? Would any president sacrifice their safety, or comfort, and give up the presidential motorcade, which includes many SUVs laden with heavy armor?

Obviously the Secret Service knows something that millions of other Americans already know – SUVs are great vehicles for transporting groups of people comfortably and safely, as well as hauling cargo. According to a recent Popular Mechanics article, large SUVs like the Dodge Durango and the Chevrolet Suburban have the lowest death rates of any vehicle on the road.

But when you're looking for a soundbite, why fuss with facts? Look, you can love the planet and love your SUV too. Hybrid SUVs, delivering superior fuel economy, are also quickly becoming a reality – we'll have the Chrysler Aspen Hybrid and the Dodge Durango Hybrid on sale next year.

Then there's diesel SUVs – like the Jeep® Grand Cherokee – which deliver 25 percent better fuel economy. And other gas saving technologies on gasoline engines, such as multiple displacement systems which shuts off select cylinders when not in use.

Last time I checked, America is about choice. This kind of reminds me of book burnings of the past. Shouldn't a president try to preserve freedoms? So let's lay off any suggestions of "vehicle choice by government committee". Trabant anyone?

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