March 11th, 2009
12:34 PM ET
6 years ago

Edwards steps back into spotlight

Edwards spoke at Brown University Tuesday.
Edwards spoke at Brown University Tuesday.

(CNN) - Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards waded back into the public eye Tuesday, months after admitting to an extramarital affair with a campaign aide that likely put an end to his political career.

In a speech at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, the two-time presidential candidate focused his remarks on issue of poverty, calling it a "fundamental issue," according to the Raleigh News and Observer.

In a question and answer session following the speech, only one student touched on the controversy that unfolded last summer, asking Edwards if politicians should be held to a higher standard than ordinary citizens.

“I don’t think it’s for a candidate to decide what’s appropriate,” Edwards said. “It’s something for every American to decide for themselves.”

“I have my own view, which I’m going to keep to myself tonight," he added.

Since admitting to an affair with former campaign videographer Rielle Hunter last August, the onetime vice presidential candidate has kept a low profile. Wife Elizabeth Edwards has continued to advocate for universal health care and is set to release a book in the coming months entitled, “Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities.”


Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. dont drop the soap Limbaugh

    John will do a great job.Snerdly is going off the deep end over people calling in to Rush that think he is a traitor,keep flooding his lines fellow Americans.

    March 11, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. gary

    any man who would cheat on his wife is pretty low but for edwards to cheat on his terminally ill wife is repulsive , and to think this guy could have been president i do not know how this guy can sleep at night after what he did to her go away edwards go to your mistress and the child you fathered with her not many people will forget your repulsive behavior

    March 11, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. gary

    any man who would cheat on his wife is pretty low but for edwards to cheat on his terminally ill wife is repulsive , and to think this guy could have been president i do not know how this guy can sleep at night after what he did to her go away edwards go to your mistress and the child you fathered with her not many people will forget your repulsive behavior

    March 11, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  4. Carol

    I have ZERO respect for him and LESS THAN ZERO respect for his wife. She knew what he was doing and she continued to push his campaign.

    They are both power crazed, useless manipulators.

    March 11, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. David

    Wow!! I can't believe I'm even reading something about this. This entire episode was sweeped under the media's rug so quick last year we barely heard anything about it.

    But then again, it was an election year. The media loves to protect it's darlings.

    March 11, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Shadysider

    I've said it before and I'll say it again.

    Infidelity is about the most non-important issue when we talk about politicians. It should not be pertinent. It should not reflect on whether they are a good politician. What should matter is what the politician is doing for their constituents.

    March 11, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Josh C

    I noticed a lot of people are saying that the affair is none of our business, which baffles me. If he's running for offers I would want to vote for someone with good moral value and high principal, to not do these things! I don't care if you're human, your not a wild animal you can control yourself. This also shows who he thinks for more too: his pleasure over the country's and his wife.

    Overall message: People vote on character and moral, aside from their ideas from what they offer the country. Example: Obama, he not only offered ideas but put in character and moral.

    Why don't you sheeps "grow up" and see reality and vote not by what letters are by their names, and vote by what they have to offer and their CHARACTER AND PRINCIPAL! I hope his career dies, he deserves nothing a disgrace to his wife and for this country.

    March 11, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. JonDie

    John Edwards doesn't get it; he is FINISHED as a politician because Democrats are always held to a higher standard than are Republicans (like Newt Gingrich, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani).

    March 11, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. dennis

    Thats what is wrong with todays society is oh lets give them chance after chance.... They never learn when they keep getting off. He is no differnet that bill clinton... SCUM. Why do women stay with these scums?

    March 11, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. tim

    he would have made a great Commerce secretary.

    March 11, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. tjp, valley forge, PA

    Go away...

    March 11, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Tom in Delaware

    “I don’t think it’s for a candidate to decide what’s appropriate"...

    Ah, personal accountability at it's finest.

    March 11, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Li in CT

    the coverup is worse than the crime.

    Sure he is human as we are all. While I don't like what he did, it's not the end of the world and something that should be dealt with between him and his wife. What is INEXCUSABLE IS THE LYING ABOUT IT AND TRYING TO COVER IT UP. And in that, Elizabeth is also COMPLICIT in LYING to the American people about it. The sympathy only goes so far.

    March 11, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Still angry

    The point is this man ran for public office after living through the Lewinski affair and knowing what the discovery of an affair would do to his career. He jumped into the Iowa primary forcing voters into a three-way choice. Had Edwards not run, we might have a different candidate with momentum and a different outcome of the election. What he does is his private business, until he runs for public office.

    March 11, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Brady

    I will not listen to anything this man says. Frankly, his actions disgust me. His political career is over, and it should stay that way.

    March 11, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Questionable Title?

    Interesting choice of title: "Edwards wades back into spotlight." Wade also happens to have been the first name of Edwards' late son.

    March 11, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Pepou

    What he does or did in his private life is nobody's business.

    March 11, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. Michelle

    What He did was wrong it shows a flaw in his character .. He lied to his wife while having the affair ,he did not take his marriage vows to heart .. So while we should not judge .. This does tell you he is not honest .... What ever happened to morals ?

    March 11, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. GiggsisGod

    "any man who would cheat on his wife is pretty low but for edwards to cheat on his terminally ill wife is repulsive , and to think this guy could have been president i do not know how this guy can sleep at night after what he did to her go away edwards go to your mistress and the child you fathered with her not many people will forget your repulsive behavior" – gary

    Hey gary, do you feel the same about Gingrich and McCain?

    You have an absolute right to your opinion, but I'm just wondering if you apply it fairly regardless of one's politics.

    March 11, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Laverne

    Forgiving John Edwards is not the problem. The problem is when you are in public service, you are an open book and because of his own mistakes he is being judged by the public. Unfortunately, in this business you can't have it both ways.

    March 11, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Glen

    Does anyone remember the suspicions that Edwards used campaign funds to try to keep this matter quiet? I wonder if this was ever investigated by any legal authority, or journalist?

    March 11, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Republicans = window lickers

    My God the Retardlicans are off the chain today. They cast stones at Edwards when their party has done nothing but lie, steal, and cheat the American people out of trillions of dollars. What he did was wrong but at least he was with a woman and not some airport bathroom or male intern or young teenage males like the Retardlicans like to pursue. Good Lord give it a break and go lick your windows.

    March 11, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. whitefences

    He blew any respect I had for him. And I supported him with fervor on his first run with Kerry. I thought he was the answer. What a pleasantly-packaged lie he turned out to be. Never again. He nees to be done. Out. Gone, especially when it comes to speaking on public issues.

    March 11, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Betty H., Greensboro, North Carolina

    John Edwards continues to speak for the poor even though he knows very well that this is not a popular issue. He cares about this. Do we have so many advocates for the poor that we can so easily dismiss someone who wants to work for this cause? I wish him the best, and hope he gets a second chance to be an advocate for his worthy cause.

    March 11, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. Hispanic in Dallas, TX

    We do not want this man back!

    March 11, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
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