The personal side: Presidential candidates are a pack of carnivores

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama D-Ill., eats a corn dog at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, in this file photo. When AP asked presidential candidates to talk about food they won't eat, several mentioned certain veggies. Obama won

Editor's note: This is day two of a two-week series on the personal traits, tastes and backgrounds of presidential candidates based on interviews with them. We will post this only online each weekday.

WASHINGTON - John Edwards has to be a mighty hungry man before he'll touch that mushroom on his plate. Mitt Romney says he's never met an eggplant he'd eat.

Presidential candidates do not seem to be fussy eaters for the most part. Yet they have distinct dislikes, mostly from the veggie kingdom.

The Associated Press asked them a series of questions about their personal tastes, traits and backgrounds. Today's question and their answers:

What food do you hate?


New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton: "I like nearly everything. I don't like the things that are still alive."

Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards: "I can't stand mushrooms. I don't want them on anything that I eat. And I have had to eat them because you get food served and it's sitting there and you're starving, so you eat."

Illinois Sen. Barack Obama: "Beets, and I always avoid eating them."

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: Mushrooms, specifically. "I'm not a big vegetable-eater." Recalling the first President Bush's distaste for broccoli, he said: "I sympathize with that fully."


Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Liver.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee: "Carrots. I just don't like carrots. I banned them from the governor's mansion when I was governor of Arkansas because I could."

Arizona Sen. John McCain: "I eat almost everything. Sometimes I don't do too well with vegetables."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: "Eggplant, in any shape or form. And I've always been able to avoid it."

Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson: "Not much. I've tried to do better about that. I jokingly say that we kind of have a diet around our house that if it tastes good, you don't eat it. I haven't quite got there yet. There's not much that I turn down. That's a good thing on the campaign trail because you get quite a variety."