June 17th, 2009
06:48 PM ET
6 years ago

John Edwards talks affair, future

 Edwards isn't ruling out politics in the future.
Edwards isn't ruling out politics in the future.

(CNN) – In his first at-length interview in the year since he admitted to an extramarital affair, former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards says he's still not sure whether it was a mistake to run for the White House knowing his act of infidelity could be exposed.

"Did it make sense to run and stay in the race? Time will tell," Edwards told the Washington Post in an interview published on the paper's Web site Wednesday.

The former North Carolina senator credited his run with highlighting the issue of poverty and pushing his chief Democratic competitors - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - toward more progressive stances on a host of issues.

"If you were to ask people during the campaign who's talking most about [poverty], it was me," Edwards said in the interview. "There's a desperate need in the world for a voice of leadership on this issue... The president's got a lot to do, he's got a lot of people to be responsible for, so I'm not critical of him. But there does need to be an aggressive voice beside the president."

The comments come a month after his wife Elizabeth embarked on a high-profile book tour, during which she documented at length her anguishing reaction to Edwards' affair with a campaign staffer three years earlier.

Edwards - the 2004 vice presidential candidate and onetime frontrunner for an Obama cabinet post - also said he is not ruling out a future in politics.

"Sometimes you just keep your head down and work hard and see what happens," he said.


Filed under: Extra • John Edwards • Popular Posts
soundoff (279 Responses)
  1. Tom Paine

    Go away.

    June 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    How convenient for CNN to post a story about Edwards when we're commenting about Ensign. Edwards politcal future is over. As for Mr. Ensign, I want his resignation.

    June 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Alfred E. Neumann

    Here's a quarter John, call someone who cares.

    June 17, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. Nut Jobs

    Who gives a flying crap?

    June 17, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. citizenjane

    Ah, John, here is a hint for any political future you might be envisioning. It's a no-go. I realise your ego is too big to accept, but read posts from John Ensign article. It is about credibility. You have none.

    June 17, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. ConsiderThis, FL

    This fellow has some kind of ego. Power and fame is clearly his addiction. He has all the money he needs, a longtime wife who's fighting cancer, children, everything a person can want, but yet he has to drop hints that he wants more under the guise of an anti-poverty crusader. Why does his crusade have to be based in politics? There's plenty of other avenues by which he can "be an aggressive voice"... he just wants it to be beside the President. Umm.

    June 17, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  7. Shirley In California Now On The Fence Re Obama

    Well, I must say I appreciate him speaking more about his future in politics rather than his bedroom antics (which most of us could care less about). I for one would never vote for him because of his hypocritical stance on poverty when he wears ties worth $1000. However, there are those who STILL take this man seriously and he is still young to woo voters and draw ratings.

    June 17, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  8. Shirley In California Now On The Fence Re Obama

    Sorry, I meant to say he is still young enough to woo voters.

    June 17, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  9. Dawn in Pa

    Having an affair when your wife has cancer, that in my book is a coward. I am a democrat, and also a woman. If it was the other way around and a woman has an affair when her husband is terminially the same thing. Two wrongs does not make a right!

    June 17, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. joe m

    edwards just needs to take his own advise. 'just keep your head down". maybe one day, if he is really lucky, people will not recognize him anymore and he can enjoy a regular life.

    June 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. Once You Vote Black: Mute Newt

    At least it was with a women. I say give the guy a chance.

    June 17, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. CNN = cesspool of neo-cons

    no wonder, then, most of the comments posted are wall street friendly, and of AIPAC zionist bent.

    good for you CNN to come clean at long last, LOL.

    June 17, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. slipthalo

    There is one big difference between John Edwards and Ensign. I don't remember Edwards castigating Clinton nor anyone else regarding marriage issues.
    However, Ensign was usually first to the floor to judge them and argued morals in re: the gay issues. To me Ensign is worse because he's also a hypocrit.

    June 17, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. travis_bdboy

    Don't talk future.....IT'S DEAD

    June 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Steve (the real one)

    Bad Newz, VA June 17th, 2009 3:23 pm ET
    How convenient for CNN to post a story about Edwards when we're commenting about Ensign. Edwards politcal future is over. As for Mr. Ensign, I want his resignation
    -------------------
    Did you call for Clinton's resignation? Perhaps you called for Spitzer's as well? Or was it only republicans? Personally, I believe if one cannot take care of private matters, they really be trusted to take care of public matters! It's an issue of trust! I understand they are not perfect but still my belief!

    June 17, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. K

    Also on poverty: don't forget his house on Figure Eight Island, where they are trying to bend the laws so they can install a groin. I wonder if he wants the public of North Carolina to pay for it.

    June 17, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. jan

    The fact that he is even discussing a political future when his wife is dealing wtih public humiliation and is dying of cancer says it all.

    June 17, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Kathy

    The issue the public has with politicians and extramarital affairs, is of course, credibility – character. If one deceives his partner, how does that make citizens feel? On the other hand, all politicians deceive, in one form or another to get 'ahead' , convincing themselves that compromise is the only way to go forward in our political climate. So it goes.

    But, I suspect, it is the infidelity that many can identify with, and therefore, the rub. It seems to be the ultimate betrayal.

    June 17, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    just another slimy lawyer

    June 17, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. mytabloids

    Edward's making a vain (and I mean that in both sense of the word!) attempt to cleanse his record - and make it seem like he was this high-minded guy who cared deeply about poverty.

    For someone who wanted to believe the guy back then, all I can do is echo other comments here: as in, "Go away, John. It's over."

    June 17, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Willy Brown

    Sniffing out a 2012 run John Boy?

    June 17, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  22. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ Steve (the real one)

    I didn't ask for Clinton's resignation, but Sen. Ensign did. Now if that's not the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is.

    June 17, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. demwit

    Come on back John. Mindless liberals will obviously swallow anything well spoken from a teleprompter..

    June 17, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  24. Phil

    Where is CNN's coverage of the very shady firing of the Inspector General?

    June 17, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  25. Get Real

    Can we just get rid of all the politicians that had affairs? That means from both sides of the aisle. That way CNN will actually have to work on a real story. All the politicians that have had affairs are a joke no matter what level they are.

    June 17, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
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