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. amy

    The media and the pundits were trying to write John Edwards off for a long time and created the Obama frenzy. They gave Obama a free pass on issues and portrayed John Edwards as an angry man. Listen, We are not selecting a rock star or celebrity. We should select a president that will fight for the american people.

    January 6, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    peoplle of US please realise that this is not a horse race the person we put in the white house is the most powerful person in the world and one wrong decision can cause a crisis of global proportions. It is not about the partisan politics male female black white or religious beliefs it is about our future.Leaving Iraq early will leave a void for the Taliban like elements in Iraq.are we ready for that! choose wisely.

    January 6, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. KatW

    John Edwards was not the 2000 Democratic Vice-presidential candidate, that was the disastrous Joe Lieberman

    January 6, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. Danielle White

    Right on John! Go for it! I'm rooting you on,and I'm all set to vote for you,I believe in you and your family,and see great things for our country if your elected! I know you have the heart,and the strength to fight and win for you,for all of us! Thanks!

    January 6, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Mary, Iowa voter

    Former Senator John Edwards needs to have his record exponged; he's definitely a change candidate. He's changed positions on nearly every one of the 40% of the votes he was present for. He's changed from a centrist who voted regularly against union interests to a populist. He's changed to having been born to a millworker (who was actually a supervisor) to an instantly wealthy man after litigating several cases including three lawsuits against the American Red Cross.

    He is not 'teaming up' with Obama, he's trying to eliminate Clinton.

    January 6, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. Chrisona

    If Edwards hangs in there, at some point he'll gain traction. He needs to do everything he can to encourage Hillary to deconstruct her lunatic campaign and drop out of the race. I'd like to see Edwards and Obama go head to head.

    January 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. Sue, Michigan

    The best person to bring change, John, is Hillary. She seems to have moderated her ideas about health care, and I think her plan will work. She also understands the Middle East and will be a force for positive change (not war!) there. And she seems willing to work with the military to bring about a timely withdrawal of forces. I was very impressed with her candor and ideas last night.

    January 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. dearpru

    John Edwards is the only real breakaway candidate from the Washington establishment. Clinton is too beholden to big money interests and Obama will be too timid to assert even half of his planned "reforms." Edwards doesn't give a hoot about pressure (or money) from the military-pharmaceutical-insurance-power industries that have corrupted our nation. He flies straight and true - back to the heart of American values: hard work, fairness and justice for all, opportunity, compassion. He is staring death in the face every day; he knows the score. What is the point of lying to the American people? He simply doesn't. He tells the truth and he has the passion and the power to pull it off. Do we have the intelligence to elect him?

    January 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Bill, Albany, NY

    Im sorry Edwards your populist attitude that you stole from Dobbs just wont fly with me. I work in retail sales and I can read slick talk that is empty. Yea you have experience of being in the campaign fray but you couldnt even get reelected in your own state what does that tell me. Sadly the Media ignores the Democrat that offers the experience this country needs which is Bill Richardson. Obama is nice but he needs a few more years in government for me to consider him and forget about HIllary her "take from me to give to others" policies wont fly either. Im a working stiff not a corporate king pin. A Republican will take the white house I just hope its either McCain or Paul.

    January 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Randall, Greenville, SC

    I think it's a great idea. At some point, Obama or more likely Clinton will fall out after a few surprising defeats. Stick around and wait until it's 1 on 1 with either of those two. With Biden dropping out this week, it looks Edwards will have my vote in '08 just as he did in '04.

    January 6, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Michael

    Edwards ran in 2004, not 2000.

    January 6, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. Danny

    I believe tha senator Edwards should stay in the race because he is a viable candicate. A Obama/Edwards ticket is what the democrats deserve. I am a liberal democrat but will not vote for Hillary Clinton if she becomes the nominee. i love Bill Clinton and would support him anytime, I have a hard time supporting Hillary. She should stop the nonsence about her being the most experience person in the field. I do not believe anybody whether experience or not could do worsrt than George Bush. I hope we see no more Bush or Clinton in the white house unless it is Bill. Hillary has a disapproval rating of almost 50%, I don't believe she will be able to win the general election. In fact, if she cannot convince a liberal democrat like myself to vote for her how will she convince independents and republicans. VOTE OBAMA or EDWARDS.

    January 6, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Tim

    "The former North Carolina senator and 2000 vice presidential candidate ..." That should be 2004 vice presidential candidate. Kerry-Edwards in '04.

    January 6, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  14. matchu

    Good for him. Why should he stop....just because Obama picked up a couple more delegates than him in Iowa and the media is so far up the other candidate's butt's he suddenly has to throw in the towel and call it quits? Um....no thanks.

    Its clear he seemed the strongest in last nights debate while Clinton still seemed blasted from her defeat in Iowa and Obama just seemed tired...but the media projected him in the "spotlight" because of thursday night.

    January 6, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. Samuel Adams

    Edwards is the man to vote for he is the only candidate who will not be competely controled by corporate special interests. Almost all of Washingtons failures are the result of catering to special interests and not the people. Hillary will give Americans the same old song and dance, and that is sit down with special interests give them what they want then lie to the American people about what was done. NAFTA is a good example of this kind of politics.

    January 6, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  16. Richard Rinaldi

    Edwards was the 2004 vice-presidential candidate.

    January 6, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. pam Eugene OR

    Edwards is correct. Hillary is unelectable due to her high negatives and lack of morality. I get so angry when she talks about 35 years experience. That is an out right lie. It seems she believes if she says it often enough it will magically become true. My husband has been a welder for 35 years and that does not make me qualified to install a trailer hitch on your new truck. Would you feel confident driving on the freeway at 65 MPH pulling a trailer I installed just by virtue of my marriage to a welder. I think not. Richardson is the only one left that has any real experience.
    Some say the Republicans will pick Obama to pieces. I know the will have a field day with Hillary. She is way too divisive and has far too much baggage to lead us.
    Obama/Edwards 08
    Edwards/Obama 08

    January 6, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  18. Reed

    Edwards is the most inspirational Democratic canidate who can win the White House!

    January 6, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  19. paul carpenter, rockford, il

    2004 vp candidate, not 2000

    January 6, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  20. Independent in IA

    Wouldn't stand a chance especially against Obumble. Pretty boy is too feisty about big corporations and is nothing but hot air even about them. Obumble is too glib and is able to conjure up such a rosy picture of him being able to 'reason' with people, even though he knows that approach won't hold water that the $400 haircut would be reduced to tears.

    January 6, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. lochukung

    John Edwards did take on big corporations and this happens to have made him a multi-millionaire. It's always easy to pull a wool over our eyes when someone says "I am fighting for you". This only reminds me of the many advertisements from attorneys boasting how much they have won from big companies for their victims. However, they never mention this is not pro bono and that all the compensation will go to the victim should the court rule in favor of the plaintiff. Yes, he takes on the big corporations but as a result, he got the lion share of the victim's money awarded by the court. It's not difficult to proclaim you fight for the poor and the middle-class but how he made millions seems to suggest otherwise. I don't even want to mention the $400 haircut which no middle-class can afford. Yes, I am fighting for you but don't forget my cut once the fighting is done.

    January 6, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  22. Paula Lesko

    During their tenures in Washington, Barack Obama nor John Edwards distinguished himself by his leadership. Certainly, change from the status quo was not part of their accomplishments. Perhaps, Obama would say that he has been in Washington for only a few years. However, as President of the United States, leadership and action must come from the first day. The world will not sit idly by while they develop their leadership. Whoever is President will need the demonstrated ability to lead.

    January 6, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  23. Will Leonard

    John Edwards was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, not in 2000, as stated in the post.

    January 6, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. Dana

    Ho-hum....who cares? Edwards had his chance to show us what he was made of when he ran with Kerry, and after hearing his same old "round the kitchen table" stories and his "fight, fight, fight the lobbyists" mantra ad nauseum, he proved to be a hyper, shallow bore. Now this latest comment about going the distance – even if nobody wants him? Are you getting the real Edwards message?: it's all about him.

    January 6, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Gavin

    actually Edwards was the 2004 vice president canidate, not 2000

    January 6, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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