Edwards repeated his and Kerry's support for a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill that has been held up in Congress since 2000. The bill would recognize Hawaiians as an indigenous people, similar to American Indians and Native Alaskans, and would establish a process for Hawaiian sovereignty.
The Bush administration has not taken a position on the bill, and several Republicans in Congress believe it would give special preferences to people based on their race.
"Both of us believe that it's important to preserve the culture and the language of Native Hawaiians," Edwards said. "We believe in the right for self-determination. There is a unique language and culture that it's important that it be recognized.
"The bottom line is we support it because we believe it's the right thing to do."
UPDATE: See also yesterday's post about Hawaii, noting Bill Clinton's TV appearance by satellite raisinng this issue.