June 17th, 2009
06:48 PM ET
5 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. bored

    I dunno. I get amused by the men who judge him, especially the ones I know who cheat like it is a sport. The whole thing is funny. I don't think having an affair should exclude him from the Presidency though. If that was the case, so many past Presidents wouldn't have been in office. The American morality police is funny with this high divorce and child abuse rate...I dunno most people's moral convictions are laughable. The same way he had an affair is the same way some children abuse their parents when they become their parents caregivers. Look it up. The stress of someone's illness often makes people act out in ways they didn't expect to.

    June 17, 2009 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  2. Jay

    Edwards is weak and has horrible ideas but I don't care about the personal lives of Clinton, Edwards, anyone.

    Good policy is good policy and Edwards doesn't have it.

    June 17, 2009 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  3. Michael

    what is this – some sort of lottery to determine which comments are posted? CNN, get your act together and either post comments or reject them for a valid reason.

    June 17, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  4. kitty

    Is rich creep paying child support for the baby he denies?

    He's lied about everything else, so why believe him about

    anything. He's a disgrace.

    June 17, 2009 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  5. kitty

    Sen Ensign should not resign. Bill Clinton didn't.................

    June 17, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  6. Reightwing Puppy Kickers are Clueless

    Edwards and Ensign, one bragged about having moral values, being a born again christian, and being loyal to his wife. The only reason he came out and told the truth on his extra curricular activities is because he got caught and the Husband of the staff women was going to or was blackmailing him....interesting, if the Husband didn't do or was going to do this, would he have come out and told the truth?......I doubt it!!!! Who is he trying to fool! What a contradictive, hypocritical moron!!!!

    As for Edwards......I say go home and stay home, don't waste our time!

    June 17, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  7. Frankie the Demo

    John Edwards. Cheater. Liar. Hypocrite. Politician.

    June 17, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Cheater,get awy from our sight.You better hide in some cave.No bobdy wants to see your dirty face.

    June 17, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  9. lkb

    Politicians like him are disgusting. How can you trust this man or any like him? How did the public accept Clinton's fling then lies to Congress? How could Kennedy continue to be re-elected after his hand in the death in Chappquidock and pay off of the girls family? It just makes you wonder about our values when the politicians flaunt it in our faces and they continue to be elected. Clinton, one vote away from impeachment, and he still is on the political scene. Go figure!

    June 17, 2009 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  10. Ken

    Edwards did not admit the affair until he was cornered by a news crew in a hotel lobby. His first decision after being confronted about his affair was to hide in the hotel lobby bathroom and call hotel security to "rescue" him from the truth. Get the facts right.

    He is a lot like the chicken thief who gets caught stealing chickens and isn't sorry at all he stole chickens, he's just sorry he got caught. That describes Edward's perfectly. Can you say Governor Edwards? He's got the personal resume' for politics now for sure. Just another liar.

    June 17, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  11. GOPer

    I stepped into a pile of dog waste and thought of John Edwards. He is a weak human being with no regard for loved one's in his family. His ego will not hold him back, he will continue his crusade on the backs of others.

    June 17, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  12. Janice

    What a jerk! Get real, we don't like you.....

    June 17, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  13. Andrew

    Who cares

    June 17, 2009 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  14. Marcello

    I subscribe what Tanya says.

    Plust, it doesn't seem to Edwards such bad person as many would like to be

    June 17, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  15. Marcello

    I subscribe what Tanya says.

    Plus, it doesn't seem to me Edwards such bad person as many would like to be

    June 17, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  16. Gary - Denver

    I'm sorry, but John Edwards is out of touch with himself and with America. And I am insulted as a citizen that he is so bold as to believe we actually want to hear what he has to say, a year after his affair is disclosed. Did he really think he would get elected and the whole bloody facade would remain undetected? Geez!

    June 17, 2009 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  17. Critical Thinker

    Let's see, we have Newt who dumped his wife on her death bed for a younger babe and we have John McCain who dumped his handicapped wife for a younger rich babe heiress. At least Edwards is still with his wife even though he committed adultery and she found out about it.

    June 17, 2009 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  18. Rondell

    I voted for Edwards in 2004, hes a great leader and spokesperson for the middle class. i hope he does make a come back on the national or state platform

    June 17, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  19. Jane

    John Edwards is a scab. Bad enough to step out on your wife; but to step out on your wife when she has cancer shows what a pig he is. It was all about him and his feelings of self worth apparently not about Elizabeth.

    June 17, 2009 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  20. AJ

    This guy doesn't get it. What a sorry figure.

    June 17, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  21. Judy from PA

    As my 9 year old son says, "Whatever, major loser!"

    Just go away John. You obviously don't have the standards and judgement it takes to help anyone.

    June 17, 2009 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  22. Nashville, TN

    HIs greatest accomplishments were highlighting the issue of poverty?
    The man lives in a 30,000 sq. ft. mansion and has two other vacation homes. Don't you just love these limo liberals talk about their concern for the "poor" in the day and go home to their mansions at night.

    By the way, thanks for the change commrades! Save me a place in the soup line at soon to be Obama tent cities coming to a community near you soon.

    June 17, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  23. Nija

    We have made mistakes in our life at some point in time. If you have never sinned cast the first stone.

    June 17, 2009 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  24. bimmer

    Edwards talking about poverty sounds like Hugh Hefner preaching abstinence.

    June 17, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  25. Lee

    Gotta be kidding man. What gets me the worst is that it was deliberate. This guy ran for office knowing there was a bomb that would eventually blow up in his personal life. He will never be trusted again. He just needs to get out.

    June 17, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
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