May 9th, 2008
12:35 PM ET
10 years ago

Edwards: Tough for Clinton to 'make the math work'

 John Edwards said the math isn't working in Clinton's favor.

John Edwards said the math isn't working in Clinton's favor.

(CNN) - John Edwards still isn’t backing a candidate in this year’s Democratic primary race – but it looks like he might be ready to pick a winner.

The former presidential candidate told interviewers on NBC and MSNBC that Barack Obama will probably top the Democratic ticket this fall.

Hillary Clinton has said that she can still win the nomination – but "it's very difficult to make the math work," said Edwards.

Which one of the remaining contenders is best-equipped to beat presumptive Republican nominee John McCain? Edwards tried to avoid picking between the two – then chose Obama, because he said the Illinois senator was the probable Democratic nominee.

He added that he worried the continuing campaign could take a toll on the party’s presidential chances. “I think it’s fine for Hillary to keep making the case for her,” said the former North Carolina senator. “But when that shifts to everything that is wrong with him, then we’re doing damage instead of being helpful.”

Edwards has been heavily wooed by both the Clinton and Obama campaigns since he ended his presidential run in January, but has not publicly endorsed either candidate.

soundoff (283 Responses)
  1. Timothy

    It will be over by March 20. There really is no need to say she has a chance. In competitive sports, once a team has clinched their division because there are not enough games left to play that would put in other team in front of them, they call them the division winners. There are more games left, but mathematically they cannot lose. That is what we have here. This was a seven game series. Obama has already won 4-2. At this point, the 7th game does not matter. All you need to win is 4. It's over hillary clinton. I think you know that, but you still want him to lose to McCain for your own selfish reasons. Like running again in '12. If you really cared about us as much as you say, you would not deny us the healthcare we all need so badly and jobs and to bring our troops home for at least 4 more year just so you can have a chance to fulfill a personal goal of your own.

    May 9, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. NoMcSame

    To all Hillary supporters,
    If you don't vote for Obama it is ok with us. You will be you shooting yourself in the foot come November and then see what McSame will do for you if he wins. Obama played by the rules and is not trying to change the rules of the game while in the middle of it. Where was Hillary's cry for FL and MI when the DNC first ruled against them?
    The truth of the matter is that your are letting your racist feelings toward Obama get in the way of rational thinking. So, you are free to vote for McBush McSame if you want as a matter of fact I earned my DD214 fighting for your right to do that. I will make it and maybe in the process suffer too but it will not be because I put the gun to my own head but you in your case might as well put your shoe on backwards and bend your knee as far as you can and as many times as you can if you vote for McSame. America true colors will be expose this year and it will show that the spots are still there.
    So go ahead and make our day because in the end Obama his wife and their children will still be better off than most of you hate filled racist. As they say, only the UNeducated whites vote for Hillary and many of you will do the same for McSame. You could have went to Harvard just like Obama did but you didn't so what does that make you? They tell you every day that the weak and the uneducated Whites vote for Hillary and by saying that you are going to vote for McSame if Hillary doesn't proves them right.

    May 9, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. jay nyc

    I was so offended by Hillary Clintons comment about getting "hard working people, white people" to vote for her. I'm African-American and I actually voted for her to become my Senator in NY. However, I voted for OBAMA in the primary because he has the best chance to win the election in the fall and put this nation back on the right track. I'm not white, but I AM HARD WORKING – put myself through undergrad and graduate school (twice) – so Clinton needs to stop her divisive rhetoric and get with the program. OBAMA WILL BE AMERICA'S NEXT PRESIDENT. Let's rally together democrats, independents, and Obamacans alike, to make America whole again. NO MORE BUSH and no way to MacSame – OBAMA 2008

    May 9, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  4. Chinyere

    Why don't you just endorse Obama?

    May 9, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. virginialiving

    John, it's not hillary but the DNC and our party leadership that did themselves in. Unity was 'stolen' long before Hillary made the contest interesting?

    May 9, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  6. wwf

    Finally, there's the stubborn little fact that Clinton completely opposed recognizing Michigan and Florida until after the primaries–i.e., when she realized she might need their delegates to win the nomination. "It's clear that this election they're having [in Michigan] is not going to count for anything," she said during an interview with New Hampshire Public Radio in October 2007. She wasn't alone. Two months earlier, Clinton adviser Harold Ickes actually voted to strip the rogue states of their delegates as a member of the DNC's Rules and Bylaws committee–"to prevent the gaming of the system," he said. Later than fall, Patti Solis Doyle, then Clinton's campaign manager, pledged not to compete in either contest–and was unequivocal as well. "We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process... and the DNC's rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role," she said. "Thus, we will... adhere to the DNC-approved nominating calendar." And when Michigan pushed for an early vote in 2004, then-DNC chairman–and current Clinton aide–Terry McAuliffe put his foot down. "If I allow you to do that, the whole system collapses," McAuliffe said (at least according to his memoir)."The closest [Michigan's delegates will] get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules." But when Clinton "won" Michigan on Jan. 15–and presumably caught a glimpse of the polling that showed her well ahead in Florida–she quickly changed her tune. "I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election," she said on Jan. 25. "And so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan." Ickes, Solis Doyle and McAuliffe immediately fell in line.

    May 9, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. Stacy Clarks




    DEMOCRATS UNITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 9, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. john

    Thank you John Edwards...for telling the truth that OBAMA will win...

    I see Edwards making a great FEMA Director so there wont be no more Hurricane Katrina messups, so we will be sure that those in need will get help

    May 9, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Elisabeth

    Hillary should run as an independent!

    May 9, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Orville

    John Edwards should practice what he preaches! If he is concerned for the party, then he should endorse Obama!

    May 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  11. JDS N.C.

    Get a spine Johnny and endorse someone. He is acting the way the folks down here in NC knew of him. He waffles and tries to have it both ways. He did a 360* from when he ran as a Senator to his present Prez run. He wants a job with HRC or Obama. Likely he wants the AG job.

    May 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. Inevitable

    Saw the video clip .. from the subliminal messages i believe he voted for Clinton .. and as he said he will endorse who he voted for ...

    But then again ... he could have voted for Obama ... looking at the video clip ... he was trying to send a subliminal message to Clinton .... he expressed she is tough and is genuine ... but he was really proclaiming to Hilary he was sorry IMO ... for voting for Obama and will endorse him ...

    I believe Mrs Edwards & Mr Edwards voted for two different candidates ...

    May 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Mike Jones

    a vote for McSame = rolling back Roe vs. Wade. All the Hillary backers chew on that.

    May 9, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. brewpark

    Dear John, I have been a supporter of yours since 2004 and have always thought you should have topped the ticket back then. John, my allegence has changed sorry to say and know Obama is my man. I just wish that you could have been man enough to step forward and endorse him so as to help put a stop to Hilary's madness.

    May 9, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. peace

    I wish Edwards was the nominee last time.

    He would have won.

    May 9, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. Rick

    He will back Obama, it is just a matter of time. Obama will be the next President of the United States. He is the future and McCain is a reflection of the past ! We need change bad in Washington.

    May 9, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. Rebecca

    Edwards wants a cabinet position and until Hillary is completey dead he doesn't want to take any chances that might piss her off. If by some miracle she steals this election there will be vengeance to pay for anyone who didn't side with her. There political careers would be over if she becomes president. Edwards knows this and is afraid to make a move until he knows Hillary is dead and buried.

    May 9, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Billy from Fl.

    He has not chosen a canadate yet, because I don't think he

    really likes either one.

    May 9, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. FLORIDA Voter for Barack Obama

    We've BEEN trying to tell her that John but she's too emotionally attached to the "idea" of being president. She has to understand that if she steals the nomination the dem's will surely lose in November due to the uproar it would cause within the party.

    May 9, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Kenneth Texas

    I know John Edwards really does not want to do the VP thing again but I sure would like to see him on the ticket. That would sure put that "white men" only supporting Clinton to rest real fast.

    May 9, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. FedUpDem

    Not making the left turn he wants. His path has already divided the party and his nomination and landslide loss will destroy it. Then maybe we can form a third party of moderates from both parties and the radical racists and educated elite with no intelligence or common sense can have their Dem Party, because its no longer mine and I will vote AGAINST this racist liar and his supporters because I believe their damage will be much worse than what the Republicans can inflict for another 2-6 years. I hope they take the House and Senate as well as slamming this racist down.

    May 9, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. proud army and navy mom

    i hate to say it but john edwards is a coward. his unwillingness to endorse either candidate is spineless. i am fast losing respect for you edwards.

    May 9, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    I watched the interview...Edwards said that he might still endorse....but based on what he said it seemed like he is waiting for the last few contests to take place....I think we will hear from him after June 3rd....

    May 9, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  24. AZM

    With the hypocracy that Obama has shown I (and the many people in my circle) cannot vote for him... We would sooner vote for McCain than risk having someone ashamed of America in the whitehouse.

    May 9, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. Kayln

    I am supporting Obama in November and I supported Hillary. Mu mother, grandmother, aunt and friends- everybody is supporting Obama. "Hillary supporters will not support Obama" is just a media hype to make Hillary looks bad.

    We are Democrats and we will support whoever is the nominee

    pls treat Hillary fairly and with dignity

    May 9, 2008 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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