March 11th, 2009
12:34 PM ET
5 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. cheryl brooks from cali

    Give him a break... come on everyone makes mistakes. In this society or just in the world period we are not Perfect!!!!! There will be infidelity simply because we're attracted to the opposite regardless if you're married or not... it just happens and sometimes we just can't explain why????? Leave him alone, he's only human.

    March 11, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. Larry, Hazleton, Pa

    To put this in a biblical way – let he who without – be the 1st to cast a stone – Simply put Mr Edwards has talents that can be used by the country for better – he is a strong advocate on helping to raise the issues surronuding the poor in our country – Plenty of politicians make mistakes and go on to do good deeds – He has admitted in wrong deed so lets get about forgiveness.

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  3. Eric

    I don't think the question is whether or not people make mistakes, it's why can't we find any perfect people to be our politicians?

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  4. Jon in CA

    Hey libs... how about we all buy a billboard with John's picture... and we all think of some type of mocking statement??

    Wouldn't that be hilarious??

    Maybe, "I feel your pain, America. While I have millions – I AM morally bankrupt – so lets talk about Poverty".

    March 11, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. proud army navy mom

    what edwards did was selfish and wrong but we are taught forgiveness,.,,,

    I would never vote for the man because if he would have won the nomination for pres, he would have sold us down the river, but We should forgive him.

    March 11, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. Michael M. Noonan

    An empty suit and crooked plaintiffs' lawyer non pareil.

    March 11, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. William

    Just another classy Democrat. But with a major part of their party screaming that higher powers don't exist and morals are for other people what do you expect.

    March 11, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Kitchen Police

    I believe there is forgiveness and redemption. But how can people trust Edwards's sincerity when it comes to vital issues facing our country? A flawed messenger is not going to get the job done and that is unfortunate for the individual and the country.

    March 11, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Mike Syracuse, NY

    Since when is expecting a person to be faithful to his spouse holding them to a higher standard? It's the same standard everyone should have. If you can't keep faith with a wife dying of cancer, how can the public ever trust him to keep faith with them? Go away John. You've joined the ranks of octo-mom as an amusement park attraction.

    March 11, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. JMac

    Edwards talks about poverty and he gets $400 haircuts.
    Priceless.

    March 11, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Cromwell

    Edwards is in the wrong Party.
    He should be a Republican.
    Edwards would fit right in with Republican "Family Values".

    March 11, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. Jack

    This guy has lost the trust.

    March 11, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  13. Justin from New Haven, CT

    No way. No how. No John Edwards.

    March 11, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. KLK

    Mrs. Edwards is nice to stay with him. I would have dumped him.

    March 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  15. carlo

    I guess I wouldn't feel sorry for hiim if I had ever supported him. He could have ruined our chances for the White House had he won the primaries, but he just never did it for me. Nice hair, though.

    March 11, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  16. rupert

    this guy has the kennedyish gall to talk about the poor as if he is one of them, what a selfish coward he truly is

    March 11, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. Terry

    The man is a tool with a capital T

    March 11, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. Shucks

    As a democrat, I beleive Mr. Edwards needs to be gone.

    March 11, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  19. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is politics, Newt Gingrich is back, Vitter is back, Larry Gregg never left and the list goes on and on. Politics is the "good old boys club" where they just pat each other on the back and shake hands, it's not about morals.

    March 11, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  20. Matt

    Go away Edwards. Fade away to wherever it was you were hiding. You are done in the publics eye.

    March 11, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Kimberly

    Good to see John he has always been for the poor and unprivileged I need him back he would be an asset to this Country

    March 11, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  22. constantgardner

    TO DENNIS-you know my friend dennis, name calling serves no purpose. Also you offered no meaningful rebuttal to my initial arguments. Yes it is dispicable what he did considering his wife's situation at the time. However; prior, after & at the same time of his affair he still was to articulate & focus on the plight of the down trodden. He's an effevtive communicator in this field. Should he banished from the public forever. Its not like hes highlighting a platform of family values, while at the same time having an afair...like most republicans?????

    March 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. chelle

    My word Americans are hypocritical....they love Princess Diana who by her own admission was a adulteress (but it's okay if you Americans don't like the husband apparently!!), Brad Pitt leaves Jennifer Aniston for Angelina Jolie and it's a ROMANCE!!! , but John Edwards has an affair and he is hung, drawn and quartered.... Absolutely amazing!!!!

    March 11, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. DC

    This "Howdy Doodie" needs to fade into the sunset...

    March 11, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. California Gold

    What he did was unacceptable on just about every level, but I'm sure he would like to return to public service in some capacity. Before the mess of his affair, I thought he would have been an important cabinet member for Obama and his health care initiatives. Both Mr. and Mrs. Edwards are advocates for health care reform. Right now I think it's too soon for John Edwards to "wade back into the public eye".

    March 11, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
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