October 5th, 2007
12:48 PM ET
15 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards: Kerry shouldn't have conceded

Elizabeth Edwards said her husband John didn't want to concede the 2004 election.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, criticized Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, Thursday over his decision to concede the 2004 election to President Bush so quickly after election night.

Mrs. Edwards, whose husband was the vice presidential nominee in 2004, said in an interview with Air America's Richard Greene she was "very disappointed" then-Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry chose not to contend the election result in the crucial swing state of Ohio - where he lost by approximately 120,000 votes.

"I was very disappointed, not just because we did not count the votes, but because we promised people that if they stood in line and fought for the right to vote, that we would fight with them," Mrs. Edwards said. "And I was very disappointed that the decision was made by the campaign, over John’s objection, not to fight."

Mrs. Edwards added that reported voting irregularities in Ohio caused "a lot to be suspicious about" and said the real winners of the 2004 election would likely never be known.

"I don't think we're going to ever know [who won] and that's a shame," she said. "Certainly there's a lot to be suspicious about."

"We're never going to have the kind of certainty we need to have," Mrs. Edwards continued. "I don't care if I find out the evening in the first Tuesday of November. If I don't find out until Friday who the president is but I am pretty sure it’s the right answer, that's fine with me."

Conceding the election in Boston the day after polls closed, Kerry said, "The outcome should be decided by voters, not a protracted legal process. I would not give up this fight if there was a chance that we would prevail, but it is now clear that even when all the provisional ballots are counted, which they will be, there won't be enough outstanding votes for us to be able to win Ohio."

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Elizabeth Edwards • John Edwards • John Kerry
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Colony 14 author, Mount Prospect, Illinois

    In 1960, it was fraudulent voting in Chicago that gave the election to Kennedy. Nixon knew it, but did not whine or cry or tie up the courts for months. Instead, he conceded for the sake of the nation. Gore, Kerry, Edwards, et al apparently don't know the meaning of statesmanship or decency – and they actually lost. (Please do not interpret this as support for subsequent things Nixon later did to embarrass and shame himself.)

    To avoid close-call whining in the future, how about an election where the choice isn't merely between a socialist and a socialist-lite?

    October 5, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. Don F, Mount Prospect, Illinois

    Members of both parties engage in fradulent voting, but it will certainly get worse once the dems issue drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. The only way to combat vote fraud is to win with such an overwhelming majority that a recount would be useless. How would a candidate do that? Try being a statesman instead of a politician, try answering questions honestly instead of repeating talking points, and – best of all – read the U.S. Constitution and promise to support it!

    October 5, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  3. Lisa from Santa Cruz, CA

    John said right after the election was over that Kerry should've fought to expose the fraud that has been rumored to have occurred in Ohio ever since. Elizabeth is only saying this now because she was interviewed on Air America with the other campaign staffers. John was instead interviewed by Keith Olberman on MSNBC on the same day about the Blackwater Security scandal. So, yes, John is getting his say, but CNN won't cover hardly anything he says because they seem to favor the wife over the candidate. Scrutinize the Ticker a little more and you'll see what I mean.

    As for the expectations that Edwards will lose the 2008 election if nominated, might I remind you about the Rasmussen polls? It's predicted on those that Edwards is the best choice to have a majority win in the election.


    October 5, 2007 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    All the men slamming Mrs. Edwards must be really threatened by her...

    October 5, 2007 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  5. Mike, Houston, TX

    Dear John and Elizabeth,

    Please...please....just go away.

    October 5, 2007 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  6. erika morgan black dimond wa

    I also have wondered about this and Gore too for 2000, I think their families lives were threatened if they did not step out.

    October 5, 2007 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  7. Jeremy, Waynesville, NC

    Elizabeth was just responding to a story Kerry had told the Time magazine. I think Elizabeth would be a great first lady and think John is the only democrat that CAN with the white house back! I hope that you all will look at his values and see he is the best option for President!!!


    October 5, 2007 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  8. Matt, Shreveport, LA

    You know, at first it was cute. But now it's getting really annoying. Who's running for President, Elizabeth or John? I mean seriously, does she REALLY have to come out every other day with something else to say?

    October 6, 2007 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  9. r.e. lowe allons, tn

    I a-gree with elizabeth edwards that sen. john kerry, and john edwards,concede the 2004 election to bush after what happen in florida to al gore,i wouldn't trust a bush at anything look at ther famly tree person of the year time magazine december 27, 2004 edition paths of power and look at samuel prescott bush a steel magnate who became an advisor to president hurbart hoover a great advisor agrate depression.look at prescott sheldon bush jr. a businessman and developer with strong ties to beijing he ran the u.s.china chamber of commerce so i rest my case

    October 6, 2007 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  10. Matt, KC Missouri

    Let's remeber that the angelic Democrats had some of the best trickery in election history in 1960. But I guess we can't bring that up becuase it has nothing to due with GW. Yes, Kennedy did a lot of great things for this nation in the short time he was in office, and was almost solely responsible for stopping what was the closest we have ever been to nuclear war. Yet the election it self is still questionable.

    October 6, 2007 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  11. Matt, KC Missouri

    Prabhu, San Diego, CA

    Yeah that's right, and in case you don't know this, Congress' approval rating is lower the GW's. And guess who controls that?? Oh yeah I forgot the Democrats.

    October 6, 2007 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  12. Alex, Sacramento CA

    All I have to say is that Elizabeth, in trying to express her opinions as a potential First Lady, has a right to express her opinions on the situations that arose in the 2004 election.
    I am disturbed that Americans too quickly judge her and her genuine sentiments when it comes to being critical of the issues that are being dealt with America. Of course we all know her medical condition is terminal, but the fight that she has chosen to fight for America with her husband is noble and should be looked as such.

    October 6, 2007 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  13. ann lewis

    Elizabeth Edwards is exactly right, if you continue to let republicans intimidate you, you will continue to lose. Bullies have only one tactic.
    I, for one, am tired of it. The age of crooks, and "crazies" should be over.

    October 6, 2007 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. Tom Dedham, Mass

    I wish I had the usual slew of anti-Democratic websites to cite that do all my thinking for me.

    But I don't on this topic. Help me, someone.

    Posted By James, Phoenix AZ : October 5, 2007 7:33 pm

    Don't fret, see my posting on 10/05/07 at 02:34 it has facts, figures and a small portion of the MOST RECENT cheating history, and from reliable sources, unlike "Moronia" that posts the same boring diatribe using a biased book from an author giving an opinion as an actual reliable source.

    October 6, 2007 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  15. Daniel, Cleveland, OHIO


    October 7, 2007 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. James, NY, NY

    Mrs Edwards may want to finally stop talking since Americans don't elect the guy candidate who fields the most whiniest wife. Also nobody wants to vote for a candidate who is too afraid to defend himself against Hilary.

    October 7, 2007 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  17. James (the real one), Phoenix AZ

    wish I had the usual slew of anti-Democratic websites to cite that do all my thinking for me.

    But I don't on this topic. Help me, someone.

    Posted By James, Phoenix AZ : October 5, 2007 7:33 pm

    – + – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

    The help you need, fake-James, won't be found on the CNN blog. Continuing to impersonate a conservative voice (James – Phoenix) and make silly one-line statements demonstrates your inability to articulate your views and ultimately self-hatred.

    We're all praying for you, friend.

    October 8, 2007 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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