February 1st, 2008
09:15 PM ET
4 years ago

Edwards will not endorse before Super Tuesday

John Edwards ended his White House run this week.
John Edwards ended his White House run this week.

(CNN) - Sources close to John Edwards tell CNN he will not endorse either of his former presidential rivals before Super Tuesday. "That's just not something he's going to do," said one source.

The former North Carolina senator’s endorsement would be a coveted prize. His exit from the race leaves unions, editorial boards, elected officials and voters who had backed his run suddenly up for grabs. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are aggressively courting all of those groups ahead of next week’s crucial Super Tuesday contests in 22 states.

During last night's CNN debate, both candidates repeatedly acknowledged the former candidate's efforts to make the fight against poverty a priority for the Democratic Party.

Friday, the Obama campaign boasted that it was ahead in the race to nab former Edwards supporters, pointing to new endorsements from elected officials in at least eight Super Tuesday states, editorial boards like the Fresno Bee, and labor heavyweights like the Transportation Workers Union and the California branch of the Service Employees International Union, all of whom had previously backed Edwards.

(updated with new reporting 2 p.m. Saturday)

–CNN’s Jessica Yellin, Candy Crowley and Suzanne Malveaux

soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. bbln

    oh god -the Obama-bots are soooo ignorant; most are whiny yet entitled-acting babies – why, oh why, won't Edwards endorse us already? and to "real" who posted that Hillary stole Edwards healthcare plan – get off of it – back in 1993, Edwards wasn't talking about universal healthcare like Hillary; he must've stolen her idea because he certainly wasn't for Universal healthcare well before his Presidential run.

    February 2, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. G Morgan

    It obvious that John Edwards is a true Democrat with true Democratic
    values.
    Surprise, Surprise, Ted Kennedy is not. Very, very disappointed in him!!!!

    February 2, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. Canadian Cate

    I think that this bodes better for Hillary than it does for Barack and speaks volumes about John Ewards – good for you John – at least there is one U.S. citizen that isn't willing just yet to unfairly tilt the race – at this point he seems to care more about his issues than he does about "annointing" someone – the news networks should take their clues from him. . . .

    Why do I think it bodes better for Hillary – because it was "expected" of him to endorse Barack – this says plainly that he still isn't convinced that Barack is for real – because so far the only thing Barack has used is words – if you really truly and honestly look at his record and his background – he really hasn't done as much as Hillary to speak to the causes that Edwards believed in – but then of course, nothing about this election so far as been fair . . . as a Canadian citizen I am watching this objectively and so far this election process has been anything but objective – the world is watching America – let's hope this time around you get it right – look what hype, rhetoric and the promise of unity and change got you 8 years ago – I don't think you can afford another president's term to do the same

    February 2, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  4. JohnDoe

    Edwards is coveting the VP slot. My guess is that he will only endorse once the nominee is settled.

    I find it odd that so many Edwards supporters are claiming they will stay home or vote for the Republican in November. Doing so will only hurt the Democratic party, and our country. Remember that there most likely will be SCOTUS appointments in the next 4 years, and I would rather it be made by a Democrat then a Republican.

    I do not live in a Super Tuesday state, but I urge all Edwards supporters to vote on Tuesday for the Democrat that you feel is closer to Edwards' platform.

    February 2, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  5. Mark C. Eades

    Through his inaction John Edwards is quickly becoming irrelevant. Edwards' supporters are moving over to Obama without him, as the SEIU, Transport Workers, and MoveOn endorsements attest. If Edwards truly wants progressive change, he should endorse Obama now. By not doing so, he simply appears to be hedging his bets or holding out for a deal. I have a lot of respect for John Edwards, but that respect is beginning to wane.

    February 2, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. Satch

    We all know Edwards will endorse Obama. Edwards campaign was always against Hillary and her lying ways. But contributions in excess of 90 million in the Clinton camp can buy you alot of people.

    It would be a great thing for Edwards to endorse Obama before Super Tues, but even without it Obama will still win big on Tuesday.

    Go Obama, Hillary and Bill can take all there lies and deceit elsewhere. We don't
    believe them anymore.

    A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
    – Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

    February 2, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. swampie

    Why does Edwards have to come out and support someone? Maybe Edwards feels the same way many of his supporters do–we're not sure either Obama or Clinton will deliver on the issues he champions.

    February 2, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Andrew K

    Jeremy: I agree with you, Edwards is waiting for that political payout for his endorsement. He better hope he gets it soon though, b/c I think you're right: his endorsement will be worth a whole lot less after Tuesday.

    And I agree about the "can't put my finger on it" line... lol

    February 2, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  9. Gerard

    Come on, John Edwards GO CLINTON!!! We want you to be her VP...I am voting for her and would love to see you on the ticket!!!

    February 2, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. DaveF

    Primary results to the contrary, fact is that John Edwards stood the best chance against the Republican ticket.

    Edwards betrayed his followers by bowing out so suddenly, when he had said just a short while before that he was in the race to stay.

    And then to throw in the towel without stating WHY is a further insult to those of us who had supported him, and to those who worked for him. AND JUST DAYS BEFORE SUPER TUESDAY! Makes no sense at all/.

    The only way Edwards can redeem himself is to pick himself up, dust himself off and get back in the race. Vite!

    February 2, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  11. James

    I agree with Watson . I am feel that the question needs to be asked.
    If Obama gets the nomination, Will those Hillary supporters throw their support to him? I dont think they will. This country is still a racist land. Both on the white side and black. I think most White voters that support Hillary will vote rebublican before they vote for a black man. I do however believe that most black voters who support Obama would still vote for Hillary before they vote for a rebublican. The Clintons are still popular in the black community and in without a black candidate they will vote for Hillary. And lets be honest. Obama won South Carolina because of black voters. He leads in the polls in Georgia because of black voters. Hes behind in all ohter states except is home state. And you cant really rely on exit polls. What people say on the record is not what they do behind the curtain. A person is not going to say they are racist, black or white. The rebublicans know all of this and are happy to see Obama get the nomination. It will be a guarantee win for them.

    February 2, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  12. Macunaima

    John Edwards should not endorse anyone now. Let his supporters decide. I know he is waiting to see who wins so he could be a running mate.

    Obama stole John Edwards ideas from the beginning and stole his momentum for the presidency.

    February 2, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Sierra

    As great a candidate as John Edwards was, at this point a vote for him is a vote wasted.

    A Hillary nomination would be the greatest gift we could give to McCain and the repugs - nothing will unify the republican party like she will.

    GO OBAMA!!!!

    February 2, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Didi Miesen

    Given CNN's incredible pro Obama and Republican campaign – and non coverage of John Edwards during his campaign; it would sadden me deeply if he backed Obama. John Edwards stands for truth and fairness and I pray his support will follow suit.

    February 2, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Remelda

    The fact that John Edwards has not endorsed a candidate is merely a factor of his wanting to get as much out of his endorsement as he can. He will "sell" his endorsement for the highest power he can negotiate in the next administration. There is no altruism in his actions. Even his past actions on behalf of the "poor, defenseless souls" that he represented were all mercenary. How many times did he do pro bono work for the poor? He was always working for contingency fees, )i.e. if we win, I will get half of what you get from the insurance company or big corporate conglomerate).

    If the "poor, defenseless souls" didn't have a surefire win, he wasn't going to represent them, because there would be no profit in it for him. I'm tired of people saying that Edwards was the voice of the poor. He merely took advantage of the poor to line his own pockets with millions of dollars. If he really felt the poor were his cause, he would live in a "modest" 5000 sq. foot home and he would be one of the largest charitable contributers in North Carolina.

    He built his huge mansion from proceeds from contingency fees obtained by representing the poor. Why didn't he settle for 20% or even less and let the poor people get the bulk of the money from his legal settlements?

    February 2, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. where4art

    Edwards gets my vote on Tuesday. I'm so happy that he's not endorsing - maybe he shares my opinion that neither Clinton nor Obama has earned his support. My hope is that Hillary and Barack will go to the convention with fairly equal numbers of delegates. I think a brokered convention would be good for the party; it would force both candidates to put aside their cautious, fence-sitting ways and prove to the delegates who really deserves the nomination.

    February 2, 2008 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Roger

    Barack Obama made the statement in campaigning the other day that he was more electable because Hillary Clinton supporter will vote for him in the general election if he becomes the Democratic nominee but that the Barack Obama supporter will not vote for Hillary Clinton if she is the Democratic nominee.

    Well unless he retracts that statement immediately in this fast paced election, for this Hillary Clinton supporter who for party unity and so did not want more Bush Whitehouse years made that statement true is now here by giving notice that it is no longer true. If I do not hear not only a retraction of this statement and a encouragement by Barack Obama for his supporters to vote Democrat no matter who ends up getting the nod as the Democratic nominee I will be setting out this election if Obama wins the nominee! He went way to far! If he waits till the convention to get all unity mode it will be to late for me! Can Barack Obama win without the votes from the Hillary Clinton supporters any easier then Hillary Clinton can without the Barack Obama supporters? It HAS been true the Hillary Clinton supporter by in large SAID they would support who ever is selected as the nominee and the Barack Obama supporters I see blog do not in kind respond in the same numbers. Now that Barack Obama is on the record as promoting this can you really call him the UNIFIER? Hillary is the unifier! Which one is dedicated to the ideals of change? HILLARY!

    February 2, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  18. Etaoin

    Bless John Edwards and his entire family. I wonder if he's going to go the Al Gore route–stick to his issues instead of pursuing office.
    As far as people threatening not to vote for the Democratic nominee, whoever it is–if you're not a troll, you're stupid. Just think of another four to eight years of disastrous Republican criminal rule.

    February 2, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  19. Mino AZ

    ENDORSEMENTS . . . . .

    The best thing for Edwards to do is be neutral. Another way is to be honest
    as he claims he is, don't endorse either candidate. The whole world knows he was pals with Obama. Why wait until the last minute. If he is going to endorse
    Obama, he should do it now.

    Reminder, Obama stole from Hillary, the phrase "from day one."

    February 2, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. len

    continue to vote for Edwards. He is the only one that can stop a sure Dem defeat in November. The MSM pushed him out of the race but the PEOPLE elect the President. This Edwards supporter will NEVER vote for Obama or Clinton.

    February 2, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Beninohio

    Most people don't know much about John Edwards and that is why they're rooting for him. This is a man who made several millions suing doctors and hospitals in his home state.

    As a trial lawyer, he helped destroy the healthcare system of his state. Many doctors and hospitals went out of business as a result of the many frivolous lawsuits he took to court. To me, it's great hypocrisy that he now comes around touting universal healthcare for all.

    He also touts his love for poor people but he has no problem spending hundreds of dollars for a haircut. If he cares so much about poor people, shouldn't he have cut his hair for about $15 – $30 like normal people do and then donate the rest to charity?

    I'm glad the people of his birth state, SC saw thru all the fluff and rejected him at the polls. And I couldn't be happier when his campaign came to a shameful end either.

    February 2, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Whose had Enough

    I hope John Edwards stays out of it and doesn't "endorse" anyone until the convention.

    I am still voting for John Edwards on Feb 5th. Super-Tuesday and he can still win delegates. Then at the convention he can throw his delegates to one of the other candidates.

    Great campaign John Edwards it was the hardest and most honest.

    February 2, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. disillusioned Edwards supporter

    Edwards: voted for the Iraq War because it was popular, invested in a corrupt hedge fund, bought a multi-million dollar estate while advocating a fight against poverty, spent $400 on a haircut, and is now, perhaps, waiting to endorse the frontrunner to bolster his career. A pattern?

    February 2, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  24. art

    I agree with Jeremy above – Edwards is not endorsing anyone because he wants to be the VP. He will play his hand after seeing who comes ahead on Tuesday.

    February 2, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. Michael

    To the woman who said she would vote Republican if Obama gets the nomination. I feel the same way, but if Clinton is the nominee. I think McCain is more progressive than she is. Voting records seem to agree. So, I guess we'll be canceling each other out.

    February 2, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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