January 6th, 2008
04:50 PM ET
11 years ago

Edwards vows to stay in race to convention

Sen. John Edwards catches a pass as he shoots baskets in Lebanon, New Hampshire Saturday. (Photo Credit: AP)
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Democrat John Edwards said Sunday he will stay in the presidential race through the party's convention in late August, even if he fails to win any of the early presidential primary states.

"This is the call of my life, and I have no intention of stopping," Edwards said on ABC's This Week. "I'm in this through the convention and to the White House."

Asked specifically if he'd remain a candidate even if he failed to garner a win over the next month, Edwards said, "Absolutely."

The former North Carolina senator and 2004 vice presidential candidate edged out rival Hillary Clinton for second place in the Iowa caucuses Thursday, and a new CNN/WMUR poll taken entirely after Iowa voters weighed in shows a slight bump for Edwards in the Granite State, though he remains in a distant third at 20 percent among like Democratic voters there. Barack Obama, the winner of the Iowa caucuses, and Clinton are tied at 33 percent.

Also Sunday, Edwards denied a formal alliance between himself and Obama against Clinton, but he continued to paint the New York Democrat as symbolic of the status-quo in Washington and called for a two-person debate between himself and Obama.

"Voters here in New Hampshire and in all the future states need an unfiltered debate between the two of us about who can best bring about change," he said.

Related video: Edwards campaigns in N.H.

Related: Poll: Clinton, Obama tied in New Hampshire

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Phil Memphis, TN

    I see a lot of similarities between Edwards and Bobby Kennedy. They both have /had great passion, but mostly focused in a single place. I think Edwards could be the best vice president this country has ever had, and from the debate last night it almost looked like that is the plan... Obama/Edwards. Lets hope they are electable, because the (viable) Republican options are very scary.

    January 6, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    "[John Edwards] former North Carolina senator and 2000 vice presidential candidate"

    Does Lieberman know about this?

    January 6, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  3. Shawn, New York, NY

    With Edwards impressive finish in Iowa and great showing in last nights debate in New Hampshire, that's the best decision for him and for all Americans. John Edwards message of fighting for the middle class is starting to resonate with voters even though he is being outspent 6-to-1 by the other candidates and the media won't give him equal air time. Good on you Senator Edwards. Keep up the good fight.

    January 6, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. jimmy, Iowa

    My teen ager just told me it was ok to smoke pot and snort crank because Obama did. Obama YOU BETTER EXPLAIN TO MY CHILD NOW> I WILL HOLD YOU RESPOINSEABLE> YES I AM ANGRY

    January 6, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Surrealist, Fort Myers, Fl

    Again he shows his sincerity and tenacity.

    So many have flocked to Obama. Yet, his "peacemaker" tone, and concillatory nature won't be enough to change the entrenched corruption and subsidized coporations, and wealthy businessman who have a grip on the short hairs of our federal, state and local elected offiicials. Who devise more and more business gimmes–in the name of a free marke

    Only John Edwards has the drive and personal will to draw a line in the sand–and force our elected officials to do their jobs. He has the vision to start a real "trickle down" benefit–namely, Americans aren't going forfeit any more of their personal rights nor their economic survivability to mega corporations and mega rich entities–who are intent on selling us all out to foreign powers and cheap labor to collect a short term profit.

    We need a leader who sees beyond the next economic figures–and beyond the 5 year plan.

    We desperately need John Edwards to begin the rebellion against greed, inequality, and injustice that permeates our current political environment.

    January 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Rene J.

    Um...Edwards now characterizes himself as the candidate of change and Clinton as the "status quo???" I guess that's a desperate 11th hour soundbite but last time I checked he was a white southern male from the U.S. Senate....

    January 6, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Brian, Syracuse NY

    Edwards was the Vice Presidential nominee in 2004, not 2000.

    January 6, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. jimmy, Iowa

    Edwards 2008

    January 6, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Augustine

    If Hillary doesn't take Edwards on, she will end up dropping out the race sooner than anyone thought. She has been concentrating on Obama for too long and I believe that's a flawed strategy.

    I was a little disappointed by her performance in the debate last night specifically because she showed that she couldn't handle being attacked fiercely. I wish she had instead taken Edwards directly.

    January 6, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Suzie

    Edwards should stick with it to the end. He is the best qualified democrat to take on Mitt Romney. Hillary (female) and Obama(black man) cannot win because of inherent resentment on the part of white males. Although the religious right won't like voting for a Mormon, they will vote for Romney, because McCain is pro-choice. That's pretty simple to understand. They want Roe v. Wade overturned and will turn out in droves to vote for Mitt Romney because of this one issue.

    Hillary just doesn't stand a chance because men are afraid of smart women. Also she is pro-choice and will not win any religious right votes. On the other hand Edwards has some definite views that will appeal to the religious rights., Such as his stand on gay marriage.

    Barack Obama – forget it. The republicans would love to have him for the dem. candidate.

    So, here's how it cuts: Hillary and Obama came out strong leading the pack but Edwards is gaining on them, and will pass them in the home stretch to become the Democratic nominee.

    And remember, you heard it here first ( or maybe second) – because I think I posted this somewhere else. A similar post. Use your common sense democrats. This is not a statewide race. It is National. Keep that in mind when you vote for Obama or Hillary.

    January 6, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. James

    Edwards is right. Clinton is the cadidate of the status quo. She was annointed "front runner" by the media because her husband was president; she had the name recognition. (It is a joke how the media controls our thoughts).

    What has Clinton done to deserve all the attention she has gotten? Where has she distinuished herself? Unfortunately, she will be in for the long haul because she has sooo much money (again, thanks to Bill).

    Obama, on the other hand, is receiving the same free pass Clinton did months ago (didn't we learn our lesson with Bush- remember his free pass in 2000?). He makes the same naive promises that Bush made in 2000. It can't be done. We have a 2 party system that inherently creates competition between the parties. That is how it is, and how it will always be. Change does not happen by wishing for it. Change does not happen by asking those special interests- who have a vested financial incentive to resist change – to cede power. Change does not happen with grandiose oratorical preaching. Change is something that we need actively seek. Change is something we need to spend our entire day working for. Change is something that can be achieved, but only through hard work, struggle, and taking the fight to those who resist it. Edwards understands this, unfortunately, though we Americans are, again, blinded by money, and allow the media to make our choices for us.

    January 6, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. Garrett

    Typo: John Edwards was the Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee in 2004, not 2000. He was considered a possible running mate to Al Gore in 2000.

    January 6, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  13. Larry, Hazleton, Pa

    This is great news. Please keep your word on this subject as well as your word about the lobbyist and health care. One further thing you can pledge to do is to stop the horrible act of "earmarking" – make them put all these hidden deals out in to the open by having a "Earmark Budget" that makes them clearly for all to see what really happens with our money. Building bridges to nowhere and roads that make no sense and monuments all over the state of West Virginia to honor the biggest earmarker in congress. This is just bad policy and must be stopped. Anyway, good luck to you.

    January 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. jimmy, Iowa

    My teen ager just told me it was ok to smoke pot and snort crank because Obama did. Obama YOU BETTER EXPLAIN TO MY CHILD NOW> I WILL HOLD YOU RESPOINSEABLE> YES I AM ANGRY

    Edwards 2008

    January 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  15. Kristine Meier

    All in favor of John Edward's idea to go head to head with Obama in a two man debate... please speak up!

    I would encourage all voters to speak out for a debate between the two—Edwards and Obama— I feel it is warranted and we need to hear the two Change candidates speak and debate one another.

    It has been my experience that Obama has gradually and continually plagerized Edwards over the course of the last few months only to have those words win him popularity. I want to hear them face to face!

    January 6, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Leslie

    I think that a debate between Edwards and Obama would be wonderful.

    January 6, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. hey allons,tn

    hey best for america CLINTON OR EDWARDS proven for the poor & middle class if you wan't change you better look at the change we got in 2000 a g. w . bush change from GOOD TO BAD VERY BAD do you want to go for GOLD OR A COLT ?

    January 6, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  18. Mike Uehlein

    The 2004 vice presidential NOMINEE.

    Not the 2000 vice presidential candidate.


    January 6, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. Alfred D.Bills

    Senator Clinton you are our next president.
    But please bring in President Clinton more into your
    campagn.He is very important to a vast majority of us democrats .Sen.Obama is an up and commer but is ten yrs.ahead of his time,also Gov.Richardson is just the man
    for your Vise President. Therfore you will have Hispanics
    Independents,and Africans with you.Praise Sen.Obama
    to high heaven and ridicule the republicans for getting us
    into the mess our country is in.
    I am an 83year old veteran of the Normandy invasion and A
    life long Democrat.Exselsior. but a very poor speller.
    Go girl go....
    Al Bills

    January 6, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Eric

    John Edwards is the ONLY candidate that will fight for the middle class. After watching the debates on ABC last night I am convinced that he has the right stuff to fight for true change in Washington. I heard him speak about the plight of the middle class and I could identify with that completly.
    I am sick to death of the corporate elite buying their way through DC. It is time for a change and that change is John Edwards.

    January 6, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  21. Rob

    Um, Edwards was a VP candidate in 2004, not 2000. It'd be nice for CNN to get their own facts straight.

    January 6, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  22. Ginny Ca

    What the. . .Is Edwards out of his mind? A two-person debate between him and Obama? He dismisses Hillary (who has a long, proven record of bringing about positive change to benefit all the people) as the "status quo"? And now he wants an "unfiltered debate" between just him and Obama about who can best bring about change? I can't imagine why he would take such an arrogant stance. . .unless he is still scared to death of Hillary. I honestly think this maneuver will cost him big time. What a mistake, John! I had just started to think that I might vote for you if Hillary didn't make the cut. But now, if that should occur, I'll vote Republican.

    January 6, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. EZ

    It appears to me that there seems to be a conspiracy between John Edwards and Obama in the last debates. It doesn't seem fair.

    January 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Kokou

    Way to go Edwards. That was a nice picture.



    January 6, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  25. Molly

    Senator Edwards, PLEASE stay in the race until the very end, because you are the candidate we need to elect so we can finally turn this country around and become the good nation we have the potential to be. We all know how the Big Corporate Media tries to swing elections with deceptive reporting, so we don't CARE if they ignore you, we're still here. Give the rest of America time to learn about your plan to get the poor and middle classes the relief from Corporate greed, inadequate health care, and Big Corporate Media corruption that we need. Keep spreading the word and you will eventually win over the populace. Americans need John Edwards. Edwards/Obama 08! That's the ticket!

    January 6, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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