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. Shannon

    I do believe that you get what you see with John Edwards. He says whats on his mind and attacks from the heart. That might be the reason that John Kerry was not elected president. I felt that he lost the election for Kerry when he confronted Chenney about his daughters homosexuality. It's beginning to look like Obama is the only Democratic candidate that has the demeanor to be president. Hilary didn't look presidential in yesterday's NH debate. She lost my vote when she played the gender card by saying, "as the first female president she would represent change." Had Barack said "as the first black president he would represent change", I would have felt that he may not be interested in representing all Americans. Let's hope true change prevails, and that partisan politics are over.

    January 6, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  2. Kay, Stanford CA

    Go'head Edwards- kick Hilary out of the race!

    How can she call herself a pioneer/candidate for change and yet proudly admit to being apart of the Washington problem for the last 30+ years?! If she were a man, such claims would have NO merit. I say lets make her a bastion of gender-equitable treatment, and see her game for what it is- nonsense and passive slandering. REAL women pioneers in history have used their identity to empower, not manipulate the masses.

    Yes, I want a woman president. But not one who has ridden into the race/national prominence on the coat tails of her husband. Sorry Hil.

    With that said, lets hope the future of this great country all come out in the numbers and with the passion they have in Iowa (never mind who they support)- WE represent the real change in American politics!

    January 6, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. smokey

    This is at wo against1 battle and Edwards looks like a bully. I still think when Feb 5 comes along the voters will realize who can win the White House and that for the Dems is only Hilary. Obama has just too little experience and Edwards just no credibility. So...really the choice is HC or likley McCain. Mcain would likley bea good 1 term President given his age .

    Can anyone possible imagine Lefty Edwards really reaching compromises with the Right and Obama has no chance.

    January 6, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Trang, Fremont CA

    Yes, Edwards wants to increase the heat. Bush wants to scare people. Now, Edwards wants people to get angry.

    We don't need more heat. We need more light. Let's learn to solve our problem calmy.

    January 6, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  5. G Davis

    You guys in the chairs are all getting it all wrong! listen to “your guys” in the field. they are out there “feeling the heat” and seeing the “light”. Obama is not about talk, rehetoric, and campaign slogans. He simply inspires the people who come out to see him. The more people “see” him the more they “feel” they want to be apart of the biggest most exciting politcal story in America’s recent history. He has engergized the young people like no one except perhaps JFK. When he speaks he doesn’t just talk about ideas–he gives the vision about how those ideas can be substantiated. This is the sign of a True Leader. Barack Obama is a man for this time in history. A new man for the 21st century.

    January 6, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Blue

    Hey Bimmer, nice personal attacks. If John Edwards is slimy, what does that make Obama? He tripped all over himself trying to regroup from being shown to be a hypocrite and then conceded that he may not have experience or a record, but, LOL, people like to hear good talk from politicians?


    Yeah, good speeches is really going to accomplish alot from an inexperienced , Corporatists politician......ask Duby!

    Let's hear it for the Cheer Leaders....and if they choose him, america will get what they deserve!

    January 6, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Kathy Callan, Palo Cedro, CA

    Edwards represents the only hope for change...The other candidates talk about it, but only Edwards has stood up to the special interests–he is the only one who has never taken a dime from lobbyists...

    He will fight for us "little guys" in the White House.

    January 6, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Frank Mclean Va

    Typo alert: "at 20 percent among like Democratic voters there."

    January 6, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Bob

    Edwards was the clear winner of last night's debate! There, I said it. I say this for a number of reasons- number one being he had a different strategy than the rest of the candidates. Instead of attacking all of his opponents, as we have seen most all of our dem. runners do over the last eight years, he stuck with issues and avoided chopping at the other dems. His placing at the debate table was also key. He was the most visible, detailed candidate. When the cameras shot across the "board" he was the " "heightened" (if you will) candidate. I am an Obama supporter. I still plan on voting for him, but Edwards stepped up his game last night. Whoever wins, Obama or Hillary will be our V.P.

    January 6, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Ashley, Detroit

    Then, he's gotta, gotta, pull off wins in Nevada and SC.

    I like John, but w/o those two wins, he can't compete in Ca/NY/Super Tuesday with the 10000000000's (enough zeros?) of The Clinton Machine or Barack Obama

    January 6, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. WalterPragmatist

    The democrats are their own worst enemies. John Edwards could actually win a national election. I don't know what country democrats think they are living in but last time I checked we were living in Bush-age America. Dems more concerned about "making a statement" than winning the presidency. It's amazing to me that we're even talking about Barack Husein Obama or Hilary Rodham Clinton. Neither one is a viable candidate because they can't win red states. In fact if either one is foolishly nominated for president they'll likely lose blue states as well. People need to get real about this election. Can you even imagine the attack ads against Obama or Hilary? It would be too easy. Republicans are rooting for Obama and Hilary to win because they know that they'd fare about as well as Michael Dukakis and Walter Mondale did in a national presidential race. John Edwards is what is called a "viable, electable candidate". Barack Husein Obama and Hilary Rodham Clinton most definitely are not. If democrats throw away their nomination because they want to "make a statement", we'll have to endure yet another 4 years of right wing republican rule. NASCAR dads and value voters haven't suddenly transformed into open-minded, avant-garde, Bohemian beatniks.

    January 6, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. John, Columbia, SC

    John Edwards has done more damage to health care in North Carolina than any other person in US history. No one seems to know he is the reason a medical school completely shut down. Those people in the community suffered without health care for years, but at least he got his millions. I don't understand why people have no problem with him making multi-multi millions, but if your doctor makes $150,000 (above average salary for an MD) then the doctor is greedy. He did take on the "big corporations", but just did it because they are the ones he could sue for the most money, not out of any moral obligation. He is a sleazy lawyer and will always be a sleazy lawyer. You want third rate health care, more lawsuits, more red tape, more expensive care, longer waits, and more money for trial lawyers, vote Edwards 2008!!

    January 6, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. Leo

    Edwards is a FRAUD. When asked what his biggest accomplishment was as a senator in the presidential debate yesterday, he talked about the patient's bill of rights. That bill was not passed into law and was not initiated by him. What kind of accomplishment is that? Now all he wants is to go after Hillary and kiss Obama's behind with the hope of being a vice-presidential candidate? What a loser!

    January 6, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. James, Houston,TX.

    John Edwards continues his Senseless attack on Hillary Clinton as well as Corporate America. Does this Turkety of an Attorney, whose whole concept is on "Precedence" in lieu of Growth Is So Blinded? Corporate America is and continues to be Growth! What his Grandmother, Father, and other Ancestors did toward Survival was their only "Cause and Effect " within the created inhabitance!
    Fight, fight, is all you hear fron Edwards: What happened to the " Thank You for the Abundance, Love,Joy, Wealth, Prosperity and Happiness"? Look around, Smell the Roses; And I may ask " Whats Eating within You", Still, a Cancerous Growth?

    January 6, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  15. Mary

    I am sick of looking at this guy. He sounds exactly like what he is "a trial lawyer". Why does CNN have him on so frequently?? I hit the mute.

    January 6, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. John Marsh

    I fully support Barack Obama I have all my fingers and toes crossed that he wins not only the nomination but the election in 08. I look back at the UK of 1939 and am reminded that come the nations disater WW2 comes the Man Churchill to see the nation through. I am becoming more confident that he can win the Youth of America have been energised by his campaign, his post Iowa victory speach I am sure will go down in history as did JFK's speach as one of the defining moments of this election.

    January 6, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. jhon smith


    January 6, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. b moss, SC

    Looking at the Dems, I would choose Edwards as the best candidate, and the one with the best chance of winning in the general election. With that said, I am a Rep.
    My early prediction: President & Vice interchangable

    Obama, Edwards 08
    Huckabee, McCain 08


    January 6, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. Julie, Atlanta, GA

    John and Elizabeth are going to keep fighting for us...so I'm going to keep fighting for them. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. He is THE best candidate for all Americans...Please, please, please America WAKE UP and realize this!!!

    January 6, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. N. Shope

    I also believe that John Edwards exhibits the most concern for the middle class and I, too, will vote for him! However, what concerns me most are the comments that if Hillary wins the Democrat nomination, independents wil go with the Republican party candidate! The Republican party has ALWAYS been known as the party looking out for ONLY the rich. They will never care what happens to the middle class; look what a mess our country is in now!! Please reconsider.

    January 6, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Linda Peacock


    I´m voting for JRE in the TX primary and was going to do that no matter what but this is great news! We need John Edwards.

    Thank you John and Elizabeth Edwards for your commitment to our Nation.

    January 6, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. Josh

    Most of the comments are so jaded and confusing; considering what the polls are saying. Obama is electable; he won, in pretty much all-white Iowa and in most polls is leading in NH and SC and leading his Rep. counterparts.

    Edwards preaches his populist message very well, but I do not want America to become a full socialist state! You have to negotiate and have some civility when dealing with your adverseries if you want to achieve anything.

    I agree with Obama in the sense that he knows that it is going to be a tough and long fight, but yelling and stumping like a 2-year old will achieve nothing. People will just turn off the TV and Congress with essentially ignore him. Obama has the power of the people behind him-and that is the most powerful weapon to have.


    Obama 08

    January 6, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. matchu

    Obama is not fit to bring about "real change" to America. Unless he can convince me that he can...im throwing support to Edwards because I have more confidence in him than Obama and Hillbot 8.0.

    January 6, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Jacque Bauer

    Wake up John! Obama has stolen your thunder, and you are now standing naked. Almost all that do not want Hillary have now chosen the REAL man of change, not the man of Universal Hair Care...

    Continuing to run on ego alone will get you nothing but the disrespect you deserve.

    January 6, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  25. Anthony

    In Response to this below:

    "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."

    Yes, Edwards made a great deal of money by suing corporations responsible for injuries largely to the working class. But please remember, plaintiff's attorneys work on a contingency fee regulated by each state's bar association. Typically, most states limit the fee by attorneys to a third of the recovery. This means that in most situations, it's likely (though the numbers may vary slightly), that Edwards fee was only 33% of the total amount recovered, with his clients recovering 66%. This certainly can't be classified as the "lion's share" of recovery for the attorney.

    Furthermore, in such a major case, all the risk is covered by the attorney. A case where millions are in dispute takes years to litigate. This included extreme man-hours, court costs, expert fees, etc. It's easily possible to spend in excess of $100,000 to litigate such a case. And this is all done with no guarantee of victory. If Edwards lost a case, he simply lost all the output at no expense t his client.

    In short, plaintiff's attorneys do often make a great deal of money, but contrary to modern political rhetoric, the "lion's share" of each recovery goes to the client with the attorney taking all the risk of loss. Edwards may not be an angel, but there are worse ways to spend a life.

    January 6, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
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