January 6th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
2 years ago

Edwards vows to stay in race to convention

ALT TEXT
Sen. John Edwards catches a pass as he shoots baskets in Lebanon, New Hampshire Saturday. (Photo Credit: AP)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrat John Edwards said Sunday he will stay in the presidential race through the party's convention in late August, even if he fails to win any of the early presidential primary states.

"This is the call of my life, and I have no intention of stopping," Edwards said on ABC's This Week. "I'm in this through the convention and to the White House."

Asked specifically if he'd remain a candidate even if he failed to garner a win over the next month, Edwards said, "Absolutely."

The former North Carolina senator and 2004 vice presidential candidate edged out rival Hillary Clinton for second place in the Iowa caucuses Thursday, and a new CNN/WMUR poll taken entirely after Iowa voters weighed in shows a slight bump for Edwards in the Granite State, though he remains in a distant third at 20 percent among like Democratic voters there. Barack Obama, the winner of the Iowa caucuses, and Clinton are tied at 33 percent.

Also Sunday, Edwards denied a formal alliance between himself and Obama against Clinton, but he continued to paint the New York Democrat as symbolic of the status-quo in Washington and called for a two-person debate between himself and Obama.

"Voters here in New Hampshire and in all the future states need an unfiltered debate between the two of us about who can best bring about change," he said.

Related video: Edwards campaigns in N.H.

Related: Poll: Clinton, Obama tied in New Hampshire

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Realist

    Barack Husein and Hilary have absolutely no chance whatsoever of winning in a national election. If the democrats are stupid enough to waste their nomination on a "protest vote" we'll be pledging our allegiance to president Huckabee in no time. Now is not the time to protest the system and nominate a black man or a woman. The democrats actually have a chance to win this election, but this is still America. Barack Husein would get Mondaled in a national election and so would Hilary. John Edwards is the only hope for the democrats. He could actually win in a national election. He's not black, he's not a woman and he's not a liberal white male from California or New England. If the democrats Nader their nomination and screw this up, the country will suffer yet again. Democrats need to get their idealistic heads out of the sand and get real. This is not Europe and it's not 2100. A black man with an Islamic name wouldn't win a single state in a national election. A woman wouldn't fair much better. It's amazing to me that we are just coming out of the Bush era, who was elected by "NASCAR dads" because they could "drink a beer with him" yet democrats somehow believe that those same NASCAR dads have suddenly turned into philosophers and are willing to elect a black man with an Islamic name or a woman. Get real, the democrats are handing the presidency over to the republicans yet again. They need to get serious and nominate a viable candidate...you know, one that could actually win a Red State? Now is not the time to protest the system.

    January 6, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. Mike

    In this race, Edwards has my respect as does Richardson. If neither of them win the primaries, I'll throw my hat in with McCain (if he makes it) or an Independent party candidate (hopefully Bloomberg).

    January 6, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. Jaime

    i don't care if a rep/dem gets in office. i really don't. i would just love for once in the 37 yrs i have been alive to see a president do right by the people and take care of the people by stopping and eliminating coruption in our goverment, stop protecting the exsesivly rich people/corp get greedier and step on the backs of middle class. i don't care if a copr/person gets filthy rich beyond their dreams, just take care of the people that helped you get there – the middle class. i am middle class and i feel like no one care about me. its seems like big business/govt is out of control. i understand health insurance is not cheap, but every year over the last 5 years, my insurance goes up an avg of 13%... that is 4 times inflation. it is 100% out of control, but the filthy, stinking, insanly rich pharma's/hospitals/doctors are too greedy. i also blame fat/lazy/diabetic/unhealthy americans for a part of that - boy do we need some serious leadership in this country. that is why i am leaning towards edwards/obama because they are not life politicians like hilary. she is a product of the corupt of gov't. nothing personal, i just don't think she' really change. her resume doesn't impress me. you've been in policits 35 years, you should have a resume of change a million miles long – and she doesn't. i would say i am republican, but i think john/obama can do the most good and are the least evil of them all. God bless america and whoever leads this country. republican or democrat – we need to stick together and unite to stop the corruption.

    January 6, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Ann

    Tsk! Tsk! Edwards was the Democratic vice-presidential candidate in 2004, not 2000. Lieberman was the vice-presidential candidate in 2000, when he ran with Al Gore.

    January 6, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. Bimmer

    This guy John Edwards is such a slimey character. He would do anything to get elected. He would be better advised to leave the arena and spend time with his sick wife rather than going after this unachievable goal of being a president.

    He is sucking up to Obama with the hope that he takes him as VP.

    January 6, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. vince

    2000 Presidential Candidate? Fact Check Please

    January 6, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  7. Kate

    This comment isn't for posting but for clarification... wasn't Edwards the 2004 VP candidate?

    January 6, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Steven in Charleston, SC

    Bravo to Edwards! This is a man who truly understands the plight of the working man and of the middle class, and who doesn't just talk about change, but one who actually has a set of plans to make it happen.

    Don't get me wrong - I have a lot of respect for both Senators Clinton and Obama, and I will get behind either of them if they are the nominee, but I truly feel Edwards is the best person for what our country needs at this time, and I believe that the longer he stays in the race, the greater the liklihood that Clinton and Obama will tear each other apart, and the greater the liklihood that people will come to realize what a good and decent man John Edwards truly is.

    January 6, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. aj huntington ny

    that 's the first time in history he's pictured with his sleeves rolled up, as if he's thinking of actually working at something physical

    January 6, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Todd in PA

    Couldn't agree more about how slimy Edwards is. The only good thing about this announcement is that I'll get a chance to vote against him. Pennsylvania's primaries are so late they hardly ever matter, but this will give me some satisfaction at least...

    January 6, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. matt

    Change, Change, Change! Edwards and Obama sure talk a good game when it comes to change, but as far as they have demonstrated thus far they lack the knowledge, experience or polices to successfully implement the change this country needs. It is easy to be the “change” candidate, but it is another thing entirely to be the candidate who brings about change. For months now I have heard both Obama and Edwards utter the hollow promise of change rather than clear policy regarding the grave issues that this country faces. I find it ironic that Mitt “ I Will Say Anything To Get Your Vote” Romney all of a sudden is the “change” candidate of the Republican Party. This begs me to ask the question, which is the Mitt Romney of the Democratic Party. Is it Edwards or Obama? I used to think that Edwards was the king of the phonies, with his well-rehearsed “champion of the little guy” platform. There is something about 29,000 sqft. Mansions, $400 haircuts, and $500,000 a year “consulting” fees that make me think that Edwards really does not care about the little guy. That said, Obama used to be a close second but has surpassed Edwards recently as the phoniest candidate, when he started talking like and sounding like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his speeches. As a person who has regarded Dr. King as a hero since the 6th grade, I find it disgusting that Obama would sink to such low just to get votes. Furthermore if he wants to play the race card then play it, don’t sneak it in the back door. At first I thought he was naive enough to believe the hollow words coming out of his mouth, but it is clear that he is just a phony, calculating and manipulative politician like so many before him who used the word “change” to cover up inadequacy. Eventually Edwards and Obama will have to talk about the issues, and it is then that we will see that the only difference between them and the other Democratic candidates is their lack of experience and genuine phoniness. Let’s hope for, the worlds sake, it is before the general election.

    January 6, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  12. Victoria

    Edwards has devoted his life to helping people who are ignored or hurt by the established system of greed and corruption. I don't see any evidence of him being a slimy character in any way. If you want a prime example of someone who did anything to get elected, look at George Bush. What his attack machine did to John McCain in South Carolina and John Kerry is evidence of how low he would go to win. Edwards has run a positive race so far.

    January 6, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  13. RM

    I am distressed at the lack of fair and equal coverage given to candidates. The media is trying to steer this election by focusing on only two Democrats, Obama & Clinton. Both of them seem to me to be spouting rhetoric while Richardson & Edwards are offering plans and action. Yet, CNN and other members of the so-called free press give them little coverage. I'm beginning to suspect that big business & special interests are influencing the media to steer the public away from two men who are offering a chance for real change and reform. I challenge CNN to step up & report on ALL the candidates equally!

    January 6, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  14. The Saint

    Would he quit if he doesn't win? Did you ask Clinton the same question?

    Shame on you CNN. Your bias continues to show.

    January 6, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Valjeanne

    Bimmer, You could not be more wrong about Edwards.
    He IS the champion the average American has been looking for to fight these deeply entrenched Corporate interests that have infiltrated our democracy and are now calling the shots. How has that been working for ya???
    Edwards has led the debate on ALL the issues this campaign from the very beginning. There has been a virtual media blackout on him to marginalize him. Why? because the corporate owned MSMedia has a very vested interest in the outcome of this election. CNN owned by Time Warner MSNBC NBC= General Electric. It goes on and on! Edwards has stayed viable even though he has been outspent 4/1 by 2 Media darlings who have had 90% more media coverage than Edwards. He is still viable because WHEN the Amercian people are allowed to finally hear his message, they know it's the truth. It is his passion for this cause that the media frames as 'anger' that comes across, to "we the people"
    John Edwards truly is "The Peoples President'

    January 6, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  16. Jose

    Edwards is the real deal. Too many people are so blind they can't see it. There is no need for him to even think about getting out unless of course you're a Clinton or Obama supporter! But come on, let the process go on at least! I don't want another coronation of a weak candidate that can't win in the fall.

    January 6, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  17. Augie Scott, Somers Point, NJ

    This is in response to Jaime. Just because you are diabetic, doesn't mean you are fat and lazy. Your comments are moronic. Obviously at 37 years old, you were not well-schooled. Look at your comments, they are riddled with grammatical errors. I think the problem in this country is you, uneducated people blaming everybody else for their problems. Read a book once in awhile, get the facts, and try to improve your sentences. An educated person is a wiser voter, and quite frankly, you have failed to demonstrate that by your comments!

    January 6, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Helen, Boston, MA

    Should Edwards drop out, his supporters may just line up behind Obama as the agent of "change".. What would that do to the polls in the Democrat Party...Obama 65%, Hillary 30%, the rest 5%?

    January 6, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. Timothy, Greensboro, NC

    Why all the haters for John? He'd make a super President!
    Surely a better one than the ones all you loonies have elected for the last 8 years!
    Go John Edwards!
    Obama puts me to sleep every time he opens his mouth and Hillary is so very bitter.
    Go John Edwards!!
    WILL THE DEMOCRATS FINALLY NOMINATE A WINNER LIKE JOHN.......OR YET ANOTHER LOSER FOR THE REPUBLICANS TO WIN OVER.
    Think about it. Vote for John!
    ***If you all think the country is going to vote for Obama or Hillary over a Republican, you are nuts! Gore...Kerry......please nominate a winner like John!

    January 6, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  20. William

    American democrats are making a huge mistake if they pick Clinton or Obama. Doesn't anyone remember 2004?

    Edwards is the man for the job. He will look out for individuals instead of corporations. Do you really think Hillary will? What did Bill do?

    I support John Edwards.

    January 6, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  21. LDP

    Espcecially if he's winning delegates, why should he?

    ...Go John Edwards. Real change.

    January 6, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. LDP

    This is BIG!

    Family of Nataline Sarkisyan to Join Edwards Today on Campaign Trail in New Hampshire. And it's personal to them, too.

    January 6, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Valjeanne

    Wow from all these comments you would think Edwards very successful tenure as an attorney should have been done for free?
    Do you work for free?
    He is wealthy because he WON and in turn his clients WON and are now better off than they were before he took up their cause.
    He has families he has fought for on the campaign trail out advocating for him. Why? because they put their trust in him and he delivered. Obama and Clinton can point to all ther corporate supporters ,Lifetime politcians et al. I for one will take the person being supported by the real people of America the little guy, The union members, the patients, the people on the poverty poor these are the voices I want to hear, not some DC fat cats who throw their support behind Hillary or Barak , it just tells me they endorse them because they are ONE of them the DC insiders.
    More of the same.....

    January 6, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. marion Glennon

    I think John Edwards is the most concerned about us, the little people, so there fore i am going to vote for him! A lot of the previous opinions of him are a bit jaded. Sounds like they don't know what they are talking about. Obama knows very little about how to govern and certainly hasn't been vetted and probably couldn't win an election for president. And without the help of Oprah he probably wouldn't even be in the running.

    January 6, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. S.K.M. Boston Mass

    Hillary Clinton's experience is greatly overexaggerated. For twelve of those thirty-five years(that's one third), she was the First Lady of Arkansas. That means she did next to nothing, and when she did do something, it's all informal authority. Another eight years she spent as First Lady to the U.S. She had no security clearance, she did nothing about Clinton's inaction during Rwanda, she wasn't even talking to him when we tried firing missles in Afghanistan to hit Bin Laden..
    Eight + Twelve = Twenty Years. Twenty of those Thirty-Five years that she cites was spent as the wife of someone. Give me a break. The other fifteen years? Take out seven of those for her time as a Senator, and that's the only time she has in an elected office. The other eight years of her "thirty five years" of experience? She was on the board of directors of WAL-Mart.

    Obama was a community organizer in Chicago on the south side. The most thankless job but vital to an area like that. He went to Harvard and became head of the prestigious Law Review. He left Harvard and went back to Chicago to be a Civil Rights' lawyer. He then became a state senator and his time there was INCREDIBLE. Do some of your own research and stop simply reading HRC's opposition research(also known as "dirt"). Then he became a U.S. Senator, which he has been for two years now. During this time he HAS fought against many provisions of the Patriot Act with Russ Feingold, and his votes for Iraq war funding are always tied into withdrawal. HRC's experience may be overexaggerated, but her ability to smear is even more over-exaggerated.

    January 6, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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