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. Ensign's a disgusting hypocrite who suffers delusions of gradiosity

    Ensign is embraced by Repukes while he condems others for the same conduct he committed.

    June 17, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Justin

    I love how the French handle public people's private life. NO one gives much attention to Mitterand or Chirac's private affairs...

    June 17, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Arlene, Illinois

    The Senate is just a good old boys club:


    June 17, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  4. RNC in PA

    Hey John, Obama is taking care of poverty already.

    1. He's redistributing the wealth of working people to non-working people.
    2. He's redistributing the wealth of the taxpayers to bankrupt automakers who will never pay it back. [and so did GWB before him, snarl].
    3. His Supreme Court nominee will revitalize affirmative action for illegal aliens.

    John, your good looks are all you've got. Try selling underwear instead of politics.

    June 17, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Phil

    With Ensign and David Vitter still serving, and Larry Craig having to be dragged out of office I would say that Edwards' future, by comparison, looks rather bright!

    June 17, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. pbj

    future? what future? go back to your mansion and console yourself by reliving your past glories, you dirtbag.

    June 17, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  7. SLM

    What future?? Your career is over loser, go crawl back under the rock. Yeah, most politicians seem to cheat, but Edwards crammed his holier than though attitude down our throats for so long, I could puke!

    June 17, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. jimmy combs

    One notable thing about Ensign and the Dems of the world; at least the guy had the guts to admit his.

    June 17, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. John Smyth

    You have to be kidding.

    This guys is a career LIAR so he probably does fit right in.

    I figure if he does run for anything sometime in the middle of the campaign he will self destruct.

    June 17, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. c lewis

    didn't like him before he cheated on his wife, now i really don't like him. the world is tired of liars and cheaters. please just go away.

    June 17, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  11. MLH

    The guy is done.

    June 17, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  12. Marilyn in NY

    Just imagine what the Presidential election could have/ would have been had he excused himself from the contention. President Hillary? President Obama? President McCain?

    June 17, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  13. Fact Re-Check

    Fact Check said: Walpin was fired for (among other things) failing to disclose exculpatory evidence.

    Actually: They were going to fire him because he was looking into President Obama's pals, but who would admit to firing him for that? Thus, trumped up charge. But you knew that already, didn't you Fact Check.

    June 17, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. stormerF

    Why are hearing of this HASBEEN? Where is the truth about the firing of Gerald Walpin the Inspector General,who was investigating the Mayor of Sacremento Cal.?

    June 17, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  15. ana

    I think everyone who is in politics has an affair come nobody is perfect come on if Bill Clinton cheated on his wife everyone in Washington has?

    June 17, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. Marc in Iraq

    I challenge anyone to say that they've not made an error in judgment their entire life. While his missteps with his wife is not acceptable, you cannot deny that fact that John Edwards loves America and had an issue that other politicians stayed away from, as they jumped on the War in Iraq bandwagon.

    John Edwards is a patriot who made a mistake – just like John McCain made a mistake with his own marriage.

    I still believe with every fiber in my body that despite his infidelity, John Edwards still has many great things to offer America.

    Edwards 2016!

    June 17, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  17. Lou in Illinois

    So why is CNN reporting non-news about John Edwards? To use President Obama's words... "It's a distraction." It's a distraction so CNN doesn't have to report "the inconvenient truth" about how President Obama is firing prosecutors because they are finding dirt on his friends. When on earth is the news media going to wake up to the hypocrisy in this administration? It's every bit as bad as the hypocrisy we would have seen if John Edwards had been elected.

    June 17, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  18. LacrosseMom

    Interesting how the far-right is dragging Edwards through the mud, however, they are incredibly silent on the other CHEATER....... Ensign!


    June 17, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  19. gr

    He blew it. No one cares about him now.

    June 17, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  20. George

    John Edwards showed very litle regard for his wife by continuing to run (in addition to the affair). One reason why I will never vote for him in the future. Edwards should be a "man" and admit the child is his.

    June 17, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  21. Will

    He should get together with John Ensign and David Vitter. They could co-write a book entitled "Get your affairs in order."

    June 17, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. Russ H

    He needs to take care of his family if they still want him. Really has to be sick with what his wife is going through and he is screwing around. Of course its like the government we have screw around and play around

    June 17, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  23. RZ

    John, Please go away and take Sarah Palin with you.

    June 17, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Tim

    Who asked him to? Be a man and shut up.

    June 17, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. C

    In my opinion, John Edwards jeopardized the election of a Democratic primary candidate and potentially the president of the United States by running for the office, knowing full well that he was betraying the trust of the People by doing so. What would have been the outcome if he had chosen not to run? What would have been the outcome if Edwards had won the primary and/or the election, and this revelation had unfolded? The office of President of the United States deserves a more honorable occupant.

    June 17, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
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