January 20th, 2008
06:15 PM ET
6 years ago

Edwards: 'I got my butt kicked'

 Edwards said Sunday he's in it for the long haul.
Edwards said Sunday he's in it for the long haul.

(CNN) - After a crushing loss in Nevada's Democratic caucuses Saturday, presidential candidate John Edwards said Sunday that he hopes "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

Edwards placed a distant third in the vote, with just 4 percent of the vote, behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

“I got my butt kicked. That is what happened in Nevada,” the former North Carolina senator told Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s Late Edition. “And the job for me now is - I have learned this from my whole life experience, is when you get knocked down, you have got to get up. You have got to get up and start fighting again…

“I would kind of like to go back to the old Las Vegas saying, though. You know, ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’? I hope that turns out to be true in this case.”

Instead of campaigning in Nevada in the days before Saturday’s vote, Edwards focused instead on stumping in his birth state of South Carolina, where he won the 2004 primary.

Edwards is running a distant third in the state in most recent surveys, behind Obama and Clinton.

Saturday night, after his disappointing Nevada finish, his campaign tried to downplay the importance of results in any one state. "The race to the nomination is a marathon and not a sprint,” said Edwards’ campaign manager, former Rep. David Bonior. “The nomination won't be decided by win-loss records, but by delegates, and we're ready to fight for every delegate.”

On Sunday, Edwards continued to sound a cautious theme, saying South Carolina was “important,” but just one “part of the long process. …We will see how it goes.”

Related video: Watch Edwards' Late Edition interview with Wolf Blitzer

– CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand


Filed under: John Edwards • Nevada
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. Kay

    It is time for John Edwards to quit and throw his weight behind Obama IF he really wants to see a change in how Washington is run. Otherwise, Slick Willie and his wife will lie, twist and spin whatever Obama says until they convince the uninitiated to gather enough delegates to win them the candidacy. IF that happens, I guarantee the Dems that the Republicans will unite behind whoever is their candidate and win in November. Hillary is not electable. Who wants to see Slick Willie back in the WH? What do you think he would do this time in the WH with Hillary a busy President?

    January 20, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  2. Kay

    Edwards is absolutely correct: the class distinctions of has and have-nots has grown tremendously since Bush has been in office. If people think we can "all just get along," they are sticking their heads in the sand. (Rome burned while Nero fiddled. We have really been strumming.) That "ain't" gonna work, unless the working class continues to complacently accept low wages, the destruction of any security while the wealthy continue taking advantage of us. Further I can't imagine anyone believing that Obama could unite this country; on the contrary, he will divide us more.

    Edwards has been "swiftboated" by the national media in that they have virtually ignored all candidates except Clinton and Obama. Even before Obama came out officially as a candidate, his name was all over the media. Like many, I'm going, "WHO is Barack Hussein Obama?" I would think many would find it strange that he has been pushed to the forefront by the media while other viable candidates, like Edwards, Richardson, Dennis K and Ron Paul have all been ignored. Before you support Mr. Hussein Obama, you should question his stardom. But, does it matter who we support?? Doesn't the powers that be already have the outcome decided for us? Fair elections in the US republic? BAH, HUMBUG!

    John Edwards is a sincere, honest candidate who will do his very best for this country, not just for a minute bunch of Wall Street billionaires. We should appreciate the fact that he could be making millions in his own law firm, but chooses instead to devote his life to this cause, that of saving the working class from being slaves.

    January 20, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  3. Rohanna

    Edwards should have gotten bigger numbers, but based on the caucus process, it just wasn't possible. The way it worked was that, in each precinct, a candidate had to have a certain percentage of the precinct's support in order to get any delegates. In our precinct, there were Edwards supporters, but their numbers were just two people short, so he got bupkis. The Edwards people had to either throw their support to another candidate or to throw up their arms in disgust and declare themselves uncommitted. It's a rather stupid process, actually. If Edwards people had it bad, Kucinich and Gravel supporters were totally SOL.

    January 20, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. Corey, NH

    Edwards is a great guy who would be a wonderful president. The media has not been kind to him, nor has his former foe, John Kerry, who came out for Obama.
    Whatever happens with John Edwards I hope he continues to be the devoted American that gives back to his community and country in some form or another.

    January 20, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Mike Rogers

    Go Johnny Go! Johnny B Good

    January 20, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. W B in Las Vegas

    my wife and I caucused for John Edwards saturday in Nevada and it was down right depressing. he didn't make close to the 15% "viability" standard to pick up delegates in our precinct or any of the others at the high school gym where it was held. we all went for Obama as a 2nd choice because Hillary Clinton, for all of here big talk, is just more of the same of what the American worker has seen the last two decades IF she is nominated and was to be elected in November, which I think is questionable.

    with Hillary vs any of the Republican candidates, it would just be a chioce of Republican and "Republican Lite" as neither one would do anything about the unfair trade that has deindustrialized America (remember that her husband is the one that brought you NAFTA) or the illegal alien invasion of this country (any hear her "no woman is illegal" comments here in Nevada? WE sure did). she is in the pocket of the Wall Street Weasels and Corporate Outsourcing Quislings as much or MORE than any Republican candidate.

    I think that American middle class workers and the poor would have a better chance of true "change" with Obama and definately with Edwards. the only thing Hillary will "change" is US dollars into EURO's in her and Bills investment account.

    January 20, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. Kay

    I am Democrat, but I would vote for anyone over Obama–I'm already sick of him.

    January 20, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. kristoph

    Edwards attacked Obama on a number of issues in NV in the closing days of the campaign.

    A number of reports from various NV precincts suggest Clinton supports aided Edwards, even when this was detrimental to the Clinton campaign.

    Has a deal been reached between Clinton and Edwards?

    January 20, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. Mark

    Ugly old Hillary is not electable. Edwards should support Obama's candidacy at this point in order to win back the White House to the Democrats. Obama and Edwards will make a great team.

    January 20, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  10. Kriss Nguidjol

    Hi Mr. Ndong, comment ca va depuis San Marino, C'est un frere Camer depuis les USA. Le nom m'a paru familier. I'm very pleased to see that almost everybody in the world in paying attention to electoral process in the US, with all your support we will bring CHANGE IN WASHINGTON DC with the one and only the brilliant Senator from Illinois, BARACK OBAMA as future president of the US.

    January 20, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Class Warfare

    Its time we win the Class war and shove it down their throats for a change.

    January 20, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Stan

    I can only hope that you all will see the light and come on over to the right...c'mon Johnny, lead your followers over to the GOP baby!

    January 20, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Kay

    The only thing I have against John Kerry is that he endorsed Obama, and I think he had personal reasons for doing so. Otherwise, he was "swiftboated" by a bunch of jerks who supported a candidate, Bush, who never thought of going to Vietnam and instead was AWOL. I will never understand why they supported Bush over a man who actually did go to war. They must have had personal reasons for doing so–personal monetary reasons.

    January 20, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. stephen

    geeez, many of you really seem to miss the point. oh well, I woudn't expect nuanced understanding from those who rely on the Clinton News Network for their political news – especially thinking that it is independent of the corporate agenda....

    January 20, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  15. PROUD TEXAN

    Anyone as anti-American as Edwards/Kookinich/Buyden/Reed/Paul et al...you know the group...yeah...those "wonderful" partners and friends of Castro/Chavez/Ah'smadatdad/Putin/IlJong/Trudeau/Chirac/Chretien/Schroder/Martin/Strong/Desmarais/Bertelsmann AG/Vivendi Universal/TOTAL Oil/BNP Paribas Banque Oil-For-Bloodmoney gang)...um....DESERVE TO GET THEIR BACKSIDES (and frontsides) KICKED!!! and HARD!!! MULTIPLE TIMES!!!

    Long live America!!! Edwards...you can go back to France, Canada, Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, or whatEVER country it is that your puppetmasters live and manipulate America from.

    One demoncrat down..next???

    January 20, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  16. Lance

    What Edwards will be doing form this point forward is positioning himself for a vice-presidential position. It's clear by now that he's not going to be the front-runner, that either Clinton or Obama is going to be the nominee, and that there is enough bad blood to prevent a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket.

    I predict less "Edwards good Clinton bad Obama bad" and more "Bush bad Bush bad Bush bad" ad nauseum as Edwards tries to make nice with the eventual winner, and stumps for the Democratic party rather than for himself. There will still be "Edwards is the one!" ads, but they will be attack ads against anybody but Clinton/Obama, as opposed to against... well, anybody.

    Edwards isn't a fool. He knows that he has a long political career ahead of him still, and that burning bridges now in a "Hail Mary" would be political seppuku. Besides, life could be worse than to be the veep.

    January 20, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  17. Mike Rogers

    P.S. – The republicans and the corporate-controlled media are downplaying John Edwards for a very good reason. As a southern populist, this guy would have massive appeal in red states, rural areas, the south and the midwest. He would be unstoppable in the general election. But he's got one problem: He wants to rein in corporate greed and he won't take a dime from lobbyists. So of COURSE the republicans and corporate media want him to disappear.

    January 20, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  18. S, WI

    To Billary suck:

    Edwards is taking white votes from Hillary.
    He is already helping Obama by staying in the race.

    January 20, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  19. Craig T.

    Edwards has been the "Inconvenient Candidate" for the media ever since Obama and Clinton announced their candidacies in January of last year. He has actually driven most of the discussion from the Democratic side, but the media will have none of that, choosing to make this a two-horse race from the very outset.

    By focusing almost entirely on the novelty of a woman or minority becoming a major party nominee in the general election, the media have deprived Democrats of a full examination of the issues and the candidates.

    And, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then John Edwards must be feeling very flattered at this point.

    January 20, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  20. tlnacarthur

    Hillary and Barack want to drop bombs on brown people.

    John Edwards was one of the authors of the Patriot Act.

    Dennis Kucinich voted against the Patriot Act from day 1, and has consistently voted against funding the war.

    Dennis Kucinich wants to repeal the Patriot Act. Immediately.

    Dennis Kucinich wants to restore to the American people the rights guaranteed them by the United States Constitution.

    Kucinich is the man.

    January 20, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. don

    Get with it Edwards – you're an ambulance chasing vote pandering disgrace. The only less trustworthy person in American politics is Mitt Romney. Please drop out of the race and stop embarrassing yourself.

    January 20, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. Lisa Gross

    John Edwards is a good guy, but I think he needs to get out of the race and let Obama and Clinton battle it out! It was good to see OBAMA get more delegates than Clintons(Bill and Hill) he deserves to win the presidency. GO OBAMA!

    January 20, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Spiritof76

    In terms of electability, Edwards is head and shoulders above Clinton and Obama. Only he can win the presidential election. If Obama or Clinton are the DP nominee, then Bloomberg wins (and America loses, again).

    January 20, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. tlnacarthur

    Thomas wrote this: "I keep being amazed that more people would vote for Hillary Clinton. But then people re-selected George Bush in 2004. What will it take for America to finally learn its lesson?"

    Thomas: have you been living in a fishbowl? You clearly are not familiar with the Diebold cheating voting machines. Look up the movie "Hacking Democracy" and you will be shocked. And this issue hasn't been completely dealt with even to this day.

    January 20, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Diane

    Edwards won me over on Larry King. when questioned about lobbyists or trial lawyers influencing an Edwards White House, he said "No." –No dancing around the question, no sideways answers, just "no." The questions this year should not be about gay rights, or abortion, or any social issues, when the whole economic system seems to be falling apart from corporate and government corruption and greed (including by extension the war in Iraq), and the lack of jobs at home while we make China rich. Edwards was very convincing that these issues were on his radar.

    A lot of Obama supporters here, but where are his specifics? You can't run a country on charisma.

    January 20, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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