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. Phil

    @@@@ Terry June 17th, 2009 3:59 pm ET
    I want morality in Washington. I want every candidate to be given a lie detector test:
    ______________________

    That is a good one.....

    I am sure we will not find one on earth who can pass this test.
    AND even if we do find one, he or she will be unfit and unlike a "Politician". :|

    June 17, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. Hot Chick

    The A R R O G A N C E of the stupid man.....having an affair and running for the presidency...arrogant fool.

    June 17, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Lbug

    Yeah, John you need to just go away and we all need to move on. Lofty ideals are obscured in the glare of lowly deeds.

    And no, just publicly appologizing doesn't make it all ok. Ensign, you need to go away too.

    June 17, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Tania

    Not at all interested in what he has to say. He did enough.

    June 17, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  5. Leigh

    Hopefully, our memories won't be so typically short this time, John. Just go away. You're disgusting.

    June 17, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  6. Fenarkleman

    Libs this. Libs that. Blah-blah-blah-blah-blah.

    Anyone here interested in real democracy, or does China own that, too?

    June 17, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. joe mett

    CNN and others should tell John Edwards to stop insulting our intelligence by getting lost on the national political scene. Why are American politicians like John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Ensign, Senator Vitter etc so shameles?

    June 17, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. Tom in CA

    Yeah...he'll keep his head down on the nose grinder and end up in the muff!

    PLEASE! Give us a break – he'll go no where!

    June 17, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Dream on, Johnny boy.

    June 17, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  10. Brian H

    There were many people who have done quality things for their country irregardless of how they may have acted in there personal lives. Give me a break with the roast him at the stake mentality.

    June 17, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Alex

    Jim June 17th, 2009 4:51 pm ET

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

    Sounds kind of like what everyone has been doing to Bush now doesn't it. You might not like his policies/decisions, but at least he stood by them. If he said he was going to do something, he did it. whether or not you like it.

    June 17, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    I am not a republican but I have to laugh. Two stories today on marital affairs.

    The repub who did it: comments are pretty much Crucify Him – make him resign – horrors

    The dem who did it: comments are – no big deal, why should we care?

    Sheep!

    June 17, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Edwards is so arrogant - no one knew about poverty until he ran for president.....

    June 17, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  14. jayen

    Edwards is so arrogant - no one knew about poverty until he ran for president.....

    June 17, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. Lynn

    I am still angry over him having an affair while his wife has cancer and running for President. I am also angry with Elizabeth who let him continue his campaign after she found out. Even though I did not vote for him in my state's primary, my sister and several friends did. I always felt he was not sincere with his proverty and healthcare agenda. He needs to go away and live off of his millions.

    June 17, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. citizenjane

    @ Robin, who said, "Any man who cheats on his wife is a lowlife. But this is the lowest of lows. Go away John. Just go away."
    ---------------------------
    Because you didn't post about Ensign who has the same little lowlife problem as Edwards does, your opinion regarding Ensign is?

    June 17, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. confused

    A Democrat admits an affair and his political career is over, a Republican admits an affair and he has 3 more years to serve (have people forget and run for re-election) Am I the only one that thinks that is unfair?

    June 17, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. ralph tyler

    Edwards is shamelessly ambitious. What a jerk.

    June 17, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Marmie

    I have never heard much out of Mr. Edwards in the way of remorse for his cheating on his wife. He just seems to be sorry that he got caught.
    In my opinion, he should be spending his time making up to his wife and family for all the pain and anguish that he has inflicted on them. Is public view is not what is important, it should be his family and what they feel and think.

    June 17, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  20. DG in VA

    John's actions speak much louder than his words.

    June 17, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  21. Tanya

    John Edwards is a very capable Democrat who made a big mistake. I have always thought this is a personal issue between husband and wife. But, with the "lynch'em" mentality present in this country, for whatever reason, it was not wise for John Edwards to put himself out there as a presidential candidate.

    And, after reading these posts-it has been so enlightening-I had no idea that there were so many morally perfect people in this country!!

    June 17, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. FactCheck

    Why has CNN not posted ANYTHING about Obama firing Gerald Walpin? This is the same thing people are saying Bush should be in jail for with the firing of prosecutors.
    -----

    Wow you right wing nut-bags really are that clueless. FYI, Walpin was fired for (among other things) failing to disclose exculpatory evidence. This charge was brought on by the Acting US Attorney of California (who was appointed during the Bush administration).

    Come back after you do some homework.

    June 17, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. jimmy combs

    John Edwards is a has-been. Nobody cares what he did, or what he does. He's part of the problem! DUh!

    June 17, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  24. jimmy combs

    Johnny boy, you suck AND you're history. Now fade away, loser!

    June 17, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Carlos

    He's a dem he'll be back and they will be telling us what a great guy he is in about three and a half years.

    June 17, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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