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. D'Angelo in ATL

    John Edward is the only one who truly sees how horrible this country is. everyone I know is losing they house. Losing they scools, losing they health. If we can elect Edwards he will punish all those who is hurting every body.

    January 6, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Kyle G. Columbia SC

    SUE please send me some of the good "stuff" you're smoking if what you said about Hillary you can stand on 100%!! America don't allow Hillary to fool you. She'll be a better Republican than Democrat I personally think. Barack Obama has clearly touched an American nerve in a way that seems bound to propel him to nomination by his party. There appears to be no anger in this man, motivated as he is by a powerful desire to help his fellow Americans to overcome the harm done to the society during the past seven years, and to restore the sort of opportunity that ordinary Americans have always believed they OUGHT to have, for themselves and their progeny. Hillary Clinton is, first of all, no Bill Clinton - and she strikes me as quite an angry person who carries an enemies list arraign in her head, most of it contained in her frontal lobe. I'm for Barack Obama.

    January 6, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. anngonzalez

    It's funny an angry rich white southern male lawyer/politician calling the first woman to lead in national polls for the office of the president of these united states - status quo! You've got to be kidding me.

    Hillary the first woman, Richardson the first Mexican American, Obama the first African American - these people represent change. Edwards, no matter how many people he vows to keep out of the whitehouse, that doesn't make him a change agent.

    January 6, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Vermont Girl

    Hillary is one of the main reasons that George W. was elected in the first place. The Clintons are old news and glutinous. Why aren't they helping the Democratic party by sharing all the "experience" that she boasts about? Bravo for Obama and Edwards! It's not all about you, Hil. We're sick of it.

    January 6, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Annie

    While Obama is inspirational to me I do not feel he has any viable "plans" if he were to actually win. Hillary is unbelievably intelligent and capable and would make an incredible president. When Edwards ran with Kerry I remember just feeling in my guts that Kerry would lose and wishing that it were Edwards running for President instead. As an Independent, I have closely observed ALL the candidates, including the Republicans, and so far they haven't produced one candidate I even feel I could even remotely commit to....it just seems as if it is more of the same from that party. I feel as if Obama has the heart, Hillary has the intelligence, but Edwards seems as if he has both in my opinion. Hang in there John!

    January 6, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. AH

    As a woman, I did not like the way Hillary was trying to use the gender card to get sympathy from women. She did that last night in NH debate. if she feels that a female president is the only change she can bring in in white house, I would rather not like a woman president this time. there are millions of other important changes needed in WH other then trying to elect a woman president. We should choose a president based on quality, not anything else. My sysmpathy to you is now gone forever, Hillary....

    January 6, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  7. michael

    The media made Hillary the front runner before anybody voted in the primary. Now the media is making this nomination process “Change versus Experience”. We buy into this media game without asking ourselves what really do these candidates stand for, what have they accomplished, and where do they want to see us go.

    In my rational way of looking at things and perhaps in my reality world, this contest is about change and the agents of change.

    On the one hand, we have change, idealistic and theoretical, driven by empty words (false hope) and strong emotions but only temporary because it cannot stand the test of time. A change that will require four years on the job training to clean the mess of the current administration. A change that will take a second term in office before the agents can even begin implementing their ideas which has been lost in this discussion perhaps because they really don’t have one.

    On the other hand, we have change that can be put into effect right away. A change based on logical and rational thoughts and grounded on experience. A change that does not require on the job training. A change that can stand the test of time. A change you can feel, hear, see, smell, taste, and touch.

    President Bush was an outsider, an agent of change. He was elected 8 years ago with the help of the Supreme Court and re-elected 4 years ago. Exit polls showed that he was well liked, most people consider him to be their next door neighbor, he was the type they could hang out with, etc. With only the concept of change and no experience on foreign affairs amongst others, he surrounded himself with the best experienced advisers money can buy. What do we have today in return? A broken system: FBI/CIA abuses, Iraq war, Effects of Hurricane Katrina, Economic woes, Recession, etc.

    I know Obama and Edwards are not President Bush. I am sure they have different set of ideas and values. But I think it will be wrong to put the future of our country in the hands of someone without the first hand experience involved in the concept of change especially in today’s global dynamics of powers.

    January 6, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Path

    I will not vote for Obama!!!!!!!

    January 6, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  9. Mark

    John Edwards has the passion and the vitality to carry the fight to the Health Care Vampires and the Corporate Lobbyists who are stealing our democracy and draining our treasury. More importantly, his career has taught him EXACTLY how to take these guys on.

    Support Edwards! Send the man a few dollars, people. Obama has plenty of money. Support Edwards so he can win this fight. He's forcing the other candidates to adopt new and stronger positions in defense of working folks and the beleaguered middle class.

    John will make a great President in the mold of Teddy Roosevelt. We need a modern Trust Buster.

    Go JOHN!


    January 6, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Vic Novosad, Sugar Land, TX

    To Bimmer: You are so right in your definition of "slimey" of John Edwards. First, he spent the last two years practically living in Iowa because he impressed them four years ago by coming there in second. That's why Kerry chose him as running mate. Now, he acts like he and Clinton were on a level playing field, never mentioning his 2-year bombardment there. Also, he acts like he slaughtered her with his measly single-digit lead over her. This man has NEVER been second in anything concerning politics. What does he do for a living? And how did he accumulate those 59 million dollars? This extraordinarily wealth came from none other than those bad ole' corporations he's gunning for now, without whom he'd still be middle class like most of us are.

    Edwards also whines about Hillary "attacking" him and Obama "only when she's behind, never when she's ahead." Duh!!! Isn't that the Standard Operating Procedure political races. Besides, we all should recall when the debates started in 2007 that Edwards' wife Elizabeth called in to Chris Matthews' show also whining and criticizing Hillary and declaring that John" has done more for women than Hillary ever has. By the next debate, Edwards began going after her, using his wife's exact critique. And recall the speeches last Thursday after the Iowa caucus. At the end of his speech, his wife came running to him and whispered in his ear, to which he came back to the microphone and said, "She reminded me to say that I FINISHED SECOND!" Whoop-tee-doo.

    Finally, over the last 36 hours, as a result of his laying into Hillary about her support from big corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups - at least three major pundits confronted him with the fact that for the last five years, he has taken support from the trial lawyers association, the 6th largest in these very groups. I thought I'd never say this - but if anyone needs to be swiftboated, it's John Edwards - and by his own DEMOCRATIC PARTY. I hope this is the beginning of his swan song and good riddance! And to Elizabeth, I'm a woman and I can't recall one thing John Edwards has ever done for me - while Hillary Clinton counts her main support from older women who have learned to identify phonies such as Edwards.

    January 6, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  11. Linda

    Edwards is our future. His issues are OUR ISSUES. The chance to start rebuilding our country and future.

    It's all about dealing with our responsibility as Americans. What kind of change do you want. Anyone can use that word (and are they). But do you just want a new face on the same old government, or do you want to move us forward and secure our country.

    John Edwards check list is MY LIST-for sure!

    To do list

    Global Warming
    Health Care
    Jobs and Poverty



    January 6, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Path

    In the first place, there is not one candidate that is really for the middle class. Our jobs are gone and our elected are still kissing up to big business. Illegals are running wild in this country and none of these candidates have stated what can be done for the unemployed or stopping the influx of illegals. I will not vote for Obama, who has no experience in any of these issues, but I don't like any of the candidates either. Hillary wants to make all illegals legal and etc etc.

    January 6, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  13. angelina_ MN

    John and Obama either of you can bring change, so do not give up hopefully NH will follow the change that started in Iowa.

    Hilary and Bill, believe they are in a third world country where they can rule on and on and on, and yet take advantage of their position and not allow for change..

    Yes we are all sick of Hillary....and the Clinton Dynasty............ this is not China BC or Latin America or AFrica, where the family pass on the flag and the presidential house and political power, enough is enough

    January 6, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Linda

    Hillary is a Clinton through marriage, not like baby Bush is daddy Bush's blood. Let's judge Hillary on who she is, not on who she married. I am proud to say I support her.

    Obama is only half African American. So would he be our first black president? I can not get past those ears that stick out the side of his head. AND the ignorant attitude he has towards his elders. He acts like the world owes him a favor.

    Edwards, well this is what I have to say, "You can knock on a wall all day, and you are not going to change it into a door." Here is something that he doesn't tell you. When people win a malpractice lawsuit, the lawyers get half of money. He has gotten rich off of other peoples mishaps.

    January 6, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  15. State of Truth

    Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton use vagueness (what is 'change'?) a lot and avoid taking risk-taking stands.
    But those stands would show us where they are, who they are, who they would be if president. The more we follow 'inspiration' or 'the first woman' or 'the first black' in place of cold, hard facts about the candidates' real opinions and stances, the more we leave ourselves open to being disappointed later and wishing we could go back and retract our vote.

    'CHANGE' could actually be 'change for the worse'. They have got to be made to detail what they mean by, what they envision, when they say 'change'. [Do they think we're stupid?] I have had enough of hearing - just - the word 'change'. CHANGE is certainly a default position, isn't it? ANYBODY whe is president would Have To make many, many changes if they were the next president - if they didn't want to be impeached (too).

    January 6, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. justm2

    why are my comments awaiting moderation?

    January 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. Vic Novosad, Sugar Land, TX

    To Pam in Oregon - the truth is that it was 35 years ago when Hillary Rodham, later Clinton, graduated from Yale University, she took a job working with Richard Nixon's staff members who later contributed to his scandalous resignation in 1974. From there, she went to Arkansas and worked tirelessly to upgrade education and teachers in that state. From Arkansas as first lady, she went to Washington in the same capacity where, unfortunately, many dredge up her failure (the aborted health insurance program), never taking the time to learn all the positive things she did for the people of this country. In that regard, it's truly noticeable that the present candidates from both parties, have adopted that very program as a method to land them in the White House.

    So the next time everyone calls Hillary Clinton a liar and an agent of sickness at the mention of her name, it would behoove all to get your facts straight. And for goodness sake, women, wake up and realize how her candidacy is affecting US positively, and support her if for no other reason.

    January 6, 2008 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. Nick

    Bimmer calls Edwards slimey, a classic case of selective perception and tunnel vision. How about a dose of reality. In my 76 years Ive never seen a clearer choice on the democratic ticket. Edwards/Richardson could hit the ground running. The country would not miss Bush for a second. Obama is going to be a great one but he is not ready to be prez and I doubt he would accept vice. He would be a great sect of state.
    Back to Bimmer, I hope he gets the chance to learn the difference bewteen slime and integrity. It is pretty obvious from here.

    January 6, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. Carrie

    Here is what I saw last night-two polished candidates who are great speakers and usually either dance around a question or have some sort of canned answer which I have heard before. I also heard two candidates who are not as polished, who offer real answers with real plans to back them. I like the latter, the ones who are not getting all the press; Edwards and Richardson. I hope these two stay in it!

    January 6, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. AJB

    It was made perfectly clear in last night's debate that John Edwards is the best of the Democrats running. Edwards can and will literally defeat any Republican nominee. Obama can't do this. Neither can't Clinton. If we Democrats *actually* want to win this time around (i.e. win most of the South), Edwards is the only one that can get the victory.

    January 6, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Jper

    John Edwards as candidate catalyst

    Like it or not, John Edwards is serving as the benchmark in this democratic primary process.

    Yes, Barack Obama is now the front runner following Iowa. And, this should not be viewed as a bad thing. The country is clearly after a candidate who can inspire CHANGE in our status quo government.

    John's position of fighting Clinton is the best thing for keeping a dream of a new future for America alive.

    Barack and John are both in the same boat here. Within the democratic party we are seeing the formation of two polarized positions. Change (Barack and John) that will bring results because of a willingness to take a long hard look in a mirror. The other position (Hillary Clinton), "just put me in the white house because of my "actual" experience in a governent of "yesterday". A position that dictates a full reckoning of the experience, that She has yet to substantiate.

    Everyone knows that the best way to make change in this current government is to fight special interests and ensconced lobbyists. John Edwards needs to continue his alignment to Barack Obama and vise versa, and the two will need to do all they can to beat back the status quo governing ideals of Clinton.

    This is critical because the rise of John McCain and his inevitable republican nomination will be the only real and formidible way for democrats to lose in 08.

    If either John or Barack were to win the nomination, GREAT. But, nothing should be won at the expense of diminishing either one, as they, together are the democratic party's best chance to beat McCain and Clinton and find a new future of honesty, and honor for the American people.

    Go John, Go Barack, working together for change is the way to a better future.

    January 6, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Lisa

    Carrie – it is unfortunate that Richardson wasn't polished – seriously he doesn't know that the Soviet Union is no longer existing? And he portrays himself as the one with the foreign affairs expertise? He was a rambling fool. No chance for him to win any delegates.

    January 6, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. Jper

    The defining moment in each democratic candidate's position

    The most defining moment in the democratic race so far was the admission by Hillary Clinton in an early debate, to continue to embrace special interests and lobbyists in Washington.

    A position that Edwards and Obama have pledged to fight.

    This willingness to fight for lobbyists by Clinton is the most tell-tale fact that She is against real change. For some reason, She feels she needs to take a stand for people in these lobbyist roles, instead of recognizing that the average American citizen is who she should seek to serve, you know, the voters. This could be seen as a way to pander to these special interests in order to win her way to the white house with their help. This is a status quo government as usual position.

    All the best to John and Barack. Make it happen!

    January 6, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. Steve

    Sorry John Edwards, your alliance with Obama lost you my support. I agree with Hillary that all this talk of hope and change is wonderful, but action speaks to me. Look at her voting record, look at what she has been doing since before she met Bill.. She has "always" been working on changing the status quo.. Prior to her senate election she has been active (not a figurehead 1st lady...) Hillary all the way for me!!!

    January 6, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Mark

    When will you guys see through his hyprocisy? Did anybody notice that before the campaign he took a job with a hedge fund? Is this fighting for the little people? He admits he made $500K for working 4 hours a week!

    And on by the way, he had to sell his investments when it came out the fund was engaged in the same practices he had condemned (using off-shore companies to shelter taxes). Don't tell me he hadn't learned how they were making money when he invested $6 million in the fund.

    January 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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