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. MOVE ON !!!!!

    @Arlene, Illinois June 17th, 2009 5:45 pm ET
    The Senate is just a good old boys club:
    Vitter
    Ensign
    Edwards......Don't forget about Newt!!!
    @jimmy combs June 17th, 2009 5:49 pm ET
    One notable thing about Ensign and the Dems of the world; at least the guy had the guts to admit his.****He only admitted it cuz.hes knew it was about to come out …….Newt cheated on his dying WIFE he is out everyday talking as spokeman for the Repubs …..So move On !!!

    June 17, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  2. Pam

    Make it right with your wife and family. Find more good causes to get involved with. Politics is over for you Mr. Edwards.

    June 17, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. SnowBird

    Cheating on my wife when she has cancer.....PRICELESS! Only an Obama sheep would believe this guy.

    June 17, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  4. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    I have to laugh when he acts like he knows anything about poverty living on his excessive compound. He is a joke.

    June 17, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  5. sharon Harkavy

    This guy is a dirt-bag liar. He will be back because he is in love with himself. He has the biggest EGO I have ever seen. And that crap about no one knew about poverty before he spoke up. What a load that is. Meanwhile, he lives in the biggest house in all of Orange County, NC, possibly in the state. He has servants and staff to take care of everything. He wouldn't know poverty if it slapped him in the face. I feel sorry for Elizabeth, very sorry, but she really should run in the opposite direction of this ego-maniac.

    June 17, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  6. Kent

    Forgive and forget.............John Edwards

    June 17, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. Jerry

    Didn't I just see Edwards, Ensign, Vitter, and Craig in the movie
    " Hangover"?

    June 17, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Dems and Repubs BOTH make the same mistake.

    However -– the religious right preaches what we can and cannot do or think or be -– WHILE they are doing, thinking, being what they preach ad nauseum about.

    HYPOCRISY SUCKS.

    June 17, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  9. Not a fan of John Edwards

    They should build a detention center on an island in the Caribbean and send all these losers there. Edwards, Ensign, the idiot mayor from San Fran, and more.

    June 17, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. Miriam Weinstein

    Affair aside, which would have been remarkably destructive had Edwards gotten elected (but hey, if there isn't something substantive to attack the democrats about – O'Reilly and Limbaugh et al find something to exaggerate anyway) -I don't think Edwards would have wimped out on virtually all his positions like Obama has done – even with record high public support. I always felt Edwards was more genuine in his concerns and in his positions.

    June 17, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  11. Suzie

    John Edwards is WONDERFUL. I'd do him in a minute.

    June 17, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  12. Miriam Weinstein

    Why should Edwards career be over? At least he didn't two-time and divorce his wife, like McCain did when his first wife was seriously injured in an accident. McCain's career isn't over, unless you haven't noticed. Edwards didn't go out and marry an extremely rich heiress, did he? Count the number of men you know who honestly have been monogamous throughout their marriages, then probably cut that number in half for the ones who are lying. Very few married men don't stray. Cast out the beam in your own eye.....

    June 17, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. mh

    he is a loser and a liar. he just needs to go hide under a rock – with the other snakes!

    June 17, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  14. Steve (the real one)

    @LacrosseMom June 17th, 2009 5:03 pm ET
    How is that no matter what the article is about you, GOPers manage to make it about Obama? You folks are obsessed! Keep thinking the worst, keep up the fear mongering, the lies, the name calling……. when our Nation gets back on its feet from the Bush Disaster, the far-right-extremists will be eating crow!
    -------------------
    LacrosseMom,
    Surely you are joking:
    1. Your left buddies seem to have NO problem piling on Bush and Palin, regardless th subject, yet you are deafly silent
    2. Name-calling?? No one does name calling better than your leftist buddies, once again your are silent!
    3. Whipped cream and strawberries on a cow pie is still a cow pie! I will submit Bush started this TARP mess! You hate the Bush mess but you pretty much seem to enjoy the piling on by the Obama mess! Still one big cow pie!

    June 17, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  15. Kenneth Reilly

    Typical narcissist. In love with himself first and foremost, can't ever admit to making a mistake. Sometimes it's just best to keep your mouth shut.

    June 17, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  16. Dr. Ronald

    John Edwards is the ultimate sleeze. His wife is very ill and he has an affair and probably created a child out of wedlock, which he won't admit to. His lawyer rhetoric deals with deceptiveness in words chosen and used and he represents everything that has gone wrong in American politics and the American legal system. Why doesn't he take a paternity test? This man never served his country in the military nor did he serve it well politically. His wife is a truly tragic victim of the "me only" sleeze that Edwards symbolizes. Now he is trying to hide behind public issues such as poverty that he may champion in a return to office. Mr. Edwards, show some spine and give the child a father.

    June 17, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  17. Dave-in-Georgia

    I was a believer in John during the campaign. After learning of his indiscretion, I simply want him to fade into the woodwork and disappear.

    June 17, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  18. Give the guy a break

    Why is everyone giving him such a hard time about the affair? He's no different from all the politicians who have been exposed of having an affair not to mention the millions of non-famous people having an affair. Don't be a hypocrite. You or your friend or someone close to you have cheated on someone before so get over it.

    June 17, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  19. willowood

    Yes, most sleazy men should keep their heads down, which happens to focus on that part of the anatomy they seem unwilling to control. I am so glad tht both he and his wife were outed before they had a chance to do anymore "good" for the country.

    June 17, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  20. Bill Keldsen

    Your done John. I contributed a lot of money to your campaign and feel very taken advantage of. You kept running and took money when this was all going on. Get lost and try and make amends to your wife and family. You are in the same category as Newt.

    June 17, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  21. kcl

    Yawn.....when is HIS book coming out?

    June 17, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  22. Karen

    I wonder how many poverty stricken people he could have helped with the money spent on that huge house. He does believe in two Americans – his and the rest of us poor suckers. Hope I never have to see his face again. Lying and cheating – what a guy!

    June 17, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  23. Ted

    I have no trouble with cheaters, but Edwards is a sleazebag. I was fooled once, and I won't be fooled again!

    June 17, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  24. Lorraine

    What a Pompous fat head!

    June 17, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  25. Charles

    As a moderate republican, i fully support john edwards in his quest to run for any office against any republican. i'd even vote for him in the primaries....so he could get trounced by anybody who ran against him. go for it john! you've got my full support!

    June 17, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
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