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. NY-David

    He had substance before Obama and McCain and still has a lot to give. Keep in the game, John. You are the only one who can say its over.
    NY-David

    June 17, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  2. Roger

    It's clear that things haven't changed for Edwards. Less than year ago, we find this gem: "'I have come to the personal conclusion that I actually want the country to see who I really am,' he says in the slow, emphatic tone of a man under the spell of his own centrality." How nicely put. Edwards is still under his own spell. Nothing compelling about him, certainly nothing compelling about him as a national leader.

    June 17, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  3. DavidinCA

    The personal drama in his life really should be separate from his political career. His political ideology was a bag of garbage all on it's own. Just based on that it was a mistake for him to run for President!

    June 17, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. Jacqueline

    Let the first one without sin cast the first stone. God forgives, his wife forgives...why can't we? Mr. Edwards in my opinion can still help our great country of which he loves. Go ahead. You without sin cast the 1st stone.

    June 17, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  5. who says CNN isn't for entertainment only

    Wow, todays crop of CNN headlines befits gossip-mongering at it's best today. And everyone thinks that the GOPers are the only hyprocrites in town.

    June 17, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Claudia in Houson

    Politicians are wanna be movie stars who change partners regularly. Most of them don't have the looks or character to be movie stars so they become politicians and attract women like the stars using their power. Only difference is that movie stars don't wear their religion on their sleeves like politicians. Enough of all these jokers, get rid of them all.

    June 17, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Terry

    I want morality in Washington. I want every candidate to be given a lie detector test:

    1. Did you ever cheat in school? In college?
    2. Were you a virgin when you got married?
    3. How many sexual partners have you had so far?
    4. Have you ever cheated anyone in any way in a business dealing?
    5. Have you ever told a lie? To whom? Why?
    6. Have you ever had plastic surgery? Where? Why?
    7. Have you ever had an abortion?
    8. Do you know anyone who has had an abortion? Who?
    9. Have you ever broken any law? What law? When? Why?
    10. Do you ever speed on the freeway? Why?

    June 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    With all the scandals going on, at least these poltical figures are cheating with women. I can't say too much for Sen. Craig though. What was he thinking?

    June 17, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  9. Simon/Orlando

    Typical of a former PI attorney. This man has no conscience and a massive ego. In other words, he makes the perfect politician.

    June 17, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  10. Respect

    How can someone be rich but not care for those in poverty? Rich people do more for the poor then poor people!

    June 17, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. TCM

    @ RUSH VAN BUM -

    No, I publish under one title. "TCM." That's got to be one of the stupidest responses I've ever received....Wow, that's a new plateau for liberal ploys, to even try to divert and discredit conservative bloggers....what a clown....

    @Dutch – I agree, and while we're at it, let's get Pelosi's too, don't you think? Maybe throw in Biden's for divulging clas info, and Obama's for accepting kickback money from Raines; heck, that makes Obama a catalyst for starting the mortgage meltdown and financial upheaval...let's get 'em Dutch!

    June 17, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Dan

    If he were as protected by the media as Obama is and was during the campaign he will be able to return to politics, but this is not sure, B.O. is unique (one and only, and as such he can bring his sister to the W.H. and he can fire an Inspector General (IG_gate) as his wife seems to have wishes, at least it seems so)....

    Poor Edwards he is no Obama!

    June 17, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  13. montag

    John Edwards was wrong to cheat on his wife and he was also wrong to run for the presidency.

    But he was right on the issues.

    June 17, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Beenaround

    Just one more and typical arrogant politician

    June 17, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  15. Jerry

    The Edwards soap opera continues...

    (Does anyone REALLY care?).

    June 17, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  16. KirksNoseHair

    Sorry John, even with this bleeding heart tree-hugging liberal, you can't unring the cheating bell.

    June 17, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. Peter

    He cares about poverty...But the affair bothers me...

    June 17, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Margaret

    He's a trial lawyer resurrected once again and making money selling his story. You gotta love Amerika.

    Note to Sen. Ensign: You're done pal. This country has had it with politicans who cannot be trusted. Just wait and see during the next election.

    June 17, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. kay

    I would have voted for you, but you dropped out the day before our primary. Glad you did as I would never consider you as a candidate in the future. Something is wrong with men who cheat, women also. Lie to your spouse, lie to the electorate. Integrity is rare in our time.

    June 17, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. phoenix86

    Dear John,

    Crawl back under the rock you came from.

    June 17, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. cph9680

    Political future? That's laughable.
    If I were John Edwards I'd stay as far in the shadows as possible so I didn't humiliate myself any further!

    June 17, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. avahome

    Show me.........do something to redeem yourself. What have you done recently that makes a difference in poor peoples lives?

    June 17, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  23. southerncousin

    Wasted a lot of time and money and we still ended up with an idiot for our president. Feel sorry for the people who donated their hard earned money to this fraud.

    June 17, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. kay

    Gees, I just read Terry's statement about the lie detector test.

    The idiots are coming out of the wood work these days......

    June 17, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  25. Brad W.

    When did infidelity become illegal?? Wasn't President Clinton in office for eight solids?? If everyone whom ever cheated or lied was removed from their career... there would be no careers. Scientific studies have determined the average person tells four lies per day. So if you say you don't lie... you're lying.

    June 17, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
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