June 17th, 2009
06:48 PM ET
9 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. bert

    This guy is way too young to just go away.

    So what he cheated on his wife. It just shows JE has a litte more maning up to do, but I believe him when he says poverty is an issue that needs to be addressed. Poverty is the common denominator for most of the ills of our society. I like JE because he deals with the poverty issue even though he is a very rich man. And besides that, I am currently economically poor, so anyone sticking up for me is cool as hell. I can forgive him. I think his wife needs to forgive him and keep her yap closed so that he can get back to work. He cheated..... get over it.

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


    we dont need any more photo ops. As a US Senator you weren't there for the people of NC except for your EGO! You were always in another state campainging for becoming El-Presidentay. Your voting record speaks for itself, its a disgrace. The people of NC don't like you nor care about you. Your wife yes. You NO!

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


    Secret service...are you watching this?

    June 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Melissa

    Here's a idea, don't waste one more minute making excuses for yourself. Instead try spending that time with you terminally ill wife and your children. The sun also rises in the morning for them.

    June 17, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. GWB2012

    A rich attorney talking about poverty – oh wait – kind of like the Obamas and Hollywood. Never mind.

    June 17, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Miller

    If he really cared about poverty he wouldn't live in that obscene-sized house that he built. If he really cared about poverty he would live modestly and use his excess money to help the poor.

    June 17, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Bill, Bloominton IL

    Maybe Ensign and Edwards could get together.

    June 17, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. GWB2012

    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.
    A lot of things are not illegal but are hurtful and harmful and disturbing. Don't even go there.

    June 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Pat F

    Typical trial lawyer.

    -Can't stand to let the applause die down for one minute.

    -Convinced that, despite his clamboring after money and personal glory, it is all really about "the great cause".

    -such an egomaniac that he is willing to let his supporters pour their money down his rat hole campaign rather than admit that he is permanantly damaged goods.

    What a piece of garbage.

    June 17, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. Joe

    In other words, he still doesn't get it. Go away, John. You're through.

    June 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Jay

    despite what people said about the guy, he worked hard to get the issue of poverty on the forefront of the primary agenda. It wasn't being done by any other candidate.

    June 17, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. frombelair

    sir , return the money you collected from your supporters, you knew you were not going to win and you still kept taking contributions,
    poverty can be taken care of by one department , you don`t need to be a president for that, a president has a lot more on his desk .

    June 17, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ TCM

    It sounds like you intend on planning a coup. All I'm suggesting is that since Mr. Ensign wanted Bill Clinton impeached, he should be turning in his resignation.

    June 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. PK California

    Old news! Let it rest in peace.

    June 17, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Karen

    Ego sure is everything. He somehow thinks people will actually think is cares about them. All he cares about is his money, not his wife or kids or anyone else on this planet.

    June 17, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. cheesewhiz

    Real men act on their future instead of talking about it. Be the person that your followers believed in (even if you never truly were that person). The next thing Americans expect to hear about you in the media concerns paternity of Ms. Hunter's child. Surprise us by joining the ranks of the Southern Poverty Law Center, or some other worthy cause as a Son of the South that you can apply your legal talents to. Make your family proud, they stood by you. Americans love a winner, and also love to tear someone down that becomes too big for their britches. However, we are also willing to forgive. It's all up to you.

    June 17, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. He Cheated on His Sick Wife

    Edwards is damaged goods. He can rationalize his behavior all he wants, but his days in public life should be and are over.

    June 17, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Larry

    Who cares ... tabloid news

    As was his wife's 5 minutes of fame

    June 17, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  19. GOP

    well why does any one care about his issues? I'm ready for this clown to take a hike and get lost!

    June 17, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  20. David Jones

    Enough with interviews and photo ops. Go do something for the next 5 years and perhaps give it a shot in 2016. First suggestion–stop urging aid for the poor while you are living in that house. Sell it and move to New Orleans and put your efforts to work.

    June 17, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  21. ziggy2

    Yes, it was a mistake for John to run. He must have known how that you probably cannot keep such a secret forever. He would have embarrassed a lot of folks once this came out.

    June 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Yvonne

    he's deluded! "Time will tell" if it made sense to stay in the race! Give me a break! Thanks for the good laugh John, it eases the sting about all the money I gave to your campaign.

    June 17, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  23. Imarriedmysister in Alabama

    What should we expect from a southern hillbilly?

    June 17, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. not a fan

    You can stick a fork in this guy's political career. It's over.

    June 17, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. TomJay

    Can't Edwards just slither away?

    June 17, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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