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. David

    You suffered the same fate as Gary Hart after his affair. Affairs are common. It's between you and your wife. You and Gary Hart attempted to conceal the truth from the American people. That's where you lose the right to ask us for a vote and our trust. Gary has written some interesting books and has a very deep, broad political mind. Maybe that's the route you should take, but I'm tired of you droning on about the poverty issue. What else of substance is rattling around up there in that noggin'?.........

    June 17, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. TA6.6

    Someone earlier said "he was right on the issues"?

    June 17, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Jeremy

    If he would have dropped out when he should have Hillary Clinton would have won the nomination... prior to his leaving.. she was splitting the votes with him...
    just an observation...
    I used to like Edwards but would never support him again...

    June 17, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  4. wantaknow

    I don't really think too many people have missed John Edwards not being in the media. I don't think people are interested in him or what he has to say anymore.

    June 17, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  5. whaley41

    Go away John!!

    June 17, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  6. Cassandra Washington

    Why does the Media persist in giving these people a public platform? No wonder the respect for honesty and integrity has diminished so greatly in our culture. Go away John, you lied.

    June 17, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. ARL

    "Did it make sense to run and stay in the race? Time will tell," Edwards told the Washington Post.

    This is precisely why this guy should drop out of politics. The issue is not whether or not infidelity is illegal or whether it should matter. The issue is that it does matter in terms of the public's view of a candidate. Had he become the nominee and had it then been exposed after he obtained the nomination his candidacy would have been severely compromised, almost guaranteeing a Republican victory. This guy's hubris and complete lack of insight makes him unsuitable for office, especially that of Leader of the Free World.

    June 17, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. jerseylil

    So John Edwards breaks his silence Today when the world's focus is on the Iranian election?! Nice job, John! I was once a supporter but you've become a Huge Disappointment! How selfish to not only cheat on your terminally ill wife while she's raising your kids and working hard as she can for your campaign, but also to think that you could run for president and nobody would find out. Remember Gary Hart??!! Please don't even try to justify what you've done! Please go away!!

    June 17, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. tim

    I hate government... this is lame. We need a change.... wipe everyone from Washington and start again.

    WE are the laughingstock of the world.

    June 17, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  10. NC

    John Edwards in interested in ONE thing.....HIMSELF. And rest assured all of you that are not from NC, he will use ANY issue to increase his wealth and stature. He only comes out when he smells money. I hope and pray he is done in NC politics.

    June 17, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Karen

    Maybe he and Sarah Palin could team up in 2012. That would be a real "winning" ticket. Go back where you came from John.

    June 17, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  12. Paul from NYC

    "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."

    I would have voted for him in the primaries if he had survived to Super Tuesday. The man's politics were refreshing and on point. I want my $50 back, John!

    June 17, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. patrick

    show some humity, John.

    DISAPPEAR! spend a decade working at a DC soup-kitchen.

    during that time, develope some much needed-humility and prove you're not still interested in being the media-spotlight.

    and, maybe, learn to admit it was a MISTAKE to have an affair AND run for president. when he stops defending his foolish behavior, we'll all understand that he truly regrets what he did.

    June 17, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Linda

    She should divorce him and take everything he has. There is no excuse for cheating (man or woman). He only came clean because he was caught.....

    June 17, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. kathie ann

    Who Cares!!

    June 17, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. Debby

    His political career was over even before his affair. He is a political hasbeen now.

    June 17, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. minnie

    John Edwards is a jerk and naturally belongs to the democrats.

    June 17, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. joe speach

    edwards considers himself a leader but he lacks the main quality of a leader – integrity. he betrayed his wife and family and was hoping to betray the country. thank goodness he didn't get that chance. what does a man who gets $400 haircuts know about poverty? he is the consummate politician, however. just go away John!

    June 17, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. TCM

    @Dutch – nah, Obama's on a self-destruct mission....everyday the ratings fall....so, no coup from me....just disbelief in my fellow citizens for their lack of seeing what's going on.

    @ JAMES – freedom of speech, dude.....you know, something Obama's trying to squash?

    June 17, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. kgeukes

    He's as phony as his wife...she wrote a book...has anyone bought a copy yet?? She knoew what was going on, yet she stayed to get as much mileage as she could out of it. Both of these losers need to shut up and disappear.

    June 17, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. James M. Holmes

    Isn't it funny... the same NeoCons on here that are attacking John Edwards are then defending John Ensign on the very next blog?

    Republicans have no honor, intergrety or a grasp on reality! Hypocrites, one and all...

    I'm soooo glad none of you have any power anymore and can do nothing but cry, whine and over-react to everything Obama does...

    June 17, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. kathie ann

    WHO Cares!!! Lets take a vote

    June 17, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  23. Jim

    why do a significant number of republicans take any and every opportunity to slam our president?

    their positive contributions are very few and very far between.

    they do, however, continue to sensationalize and prove they are the party of "no".

    seriously, why do they?

    June 17, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Go Away Aldulterer

    JOhn Just go away You lied to your wife, your staff, the people that support you, to all of america You are a fraud and cannot be trusted Just go away

    June 17, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Tennessee Libertarian

    This guy has always been a joke, just a pretty-boy prima donna.

    Give it up John, your 15 minutes is over.

    June 17, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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