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. NC Boy

    Ask someone in NC about Edwards' term as our senator...

    (Someone mentioned he couldn't get re-elected, but that's incorrect; he didn't run again after his VP run in 2004.)

    He spent four years in the senate, then spent the next two running for President and VP. He certainly did not earn the love and respect of North Carolinians by fighting for us - once elected, he headed to DC and stayed there, working to improve his national image (which, if you recall, centered mainly around his "boyish charm" and not a particular suitability for national office). Ask him what he managed to accomplish for his constituency when he was an elected leader, and all you get is a blank stare.

    Now, I don't agree with Hillary that "35 years" (must be new math) is required to be ready on "Day One" - after all, everyone knows that the first day of a new job is mostly filling out paperwork and getting an e-mail account...how does her experience prepare her for that? - instead, I agree that a person's judgment is far more crucial. And she married Bill - don't forget that.

    Richardson has the resume, but I question his judgment when he was Energy Secretary, and besides, we're not going to elect a fat president...when the terrorists show up on our doorstep, we don't need a leader who's so whacked out on Twinkies and Dr. Pepper he can't think straight. Besides, you'd think that he could remember it's RUSSIA and not "the Sovet Union," and hasn't been for 17 years.

    So, Obama is my guy for now. As for Hillary's comment last night that a belief doesn't consitute change, I can only say that she knows little about the history of change in America.

    Edwards, you'd make a nice VP, but get over yourself. Oh and thanks for playing pit bull last night...saved Obama from having to lower himself to Hillary's level.

    January 6, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  2. Karen, NYC

    He seems desperate

    January 6, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. Grant Devereaux

    People complain that Trial Lawyers who work on a percentage get too much money. I used to think the same thing. What you do not realize is if they do not win a case, they eat all the costs associated with the case and the client pays nothing.

    Most people cannot afford to hire a lawyer to take on big corporations, and thus are lucky to have percentage trial lawyers. Otherwise, they would get 100% of nothing.

    John Edwards got rich by proving corporations did terrible things to people, on purpose or through gross negligence, not just by accident. Thank God for trial lawyers, or you children would be playing with poison toys and your dog would be dead form dog food coming in, uninspected, from China!

    No, I am not a lawyer.

    January 6, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. lochukung

    both Edwards and Obama have chosen their paths with predetermined convictions (for that matter, so is Hillary). Edwards chose to be a niche lawyer not because he loved the poor (give me proof he did not sue primarily for money on behalf of his clients). whatever he took, it's part of blood money awarded to the victims. if it's not the potential windfall in award money, Edwards would not have taken up the cases. Of course he does not work for free. But please do not spin on the same wheel by proclaiming "I fight the big corporations for you". What he intentionally missed is the word "and your money". It's the same trail any high achievers tread after successfully pursuing one goal in making tons of money then turning to politics as a higher goal (euphimistically) not different to Govornor Jon Corzine or Mike Bloomberg. However,what I am seeing is a once successful attorney who cannot accept the defeat from the last case by trying to win vindication despite assured defeat for the second time and despite his wife's ailment. He looked even more desperate in presenting his case by aligning with Obama under the banner of "change" hoping to grab anything that floats and by attacking and side-stepping Hillary Clinton hoping he could be the second man left standing.
    As for Obama, anybody who denies he has the ambition to be the president of this country from an early age is naive given his well-planned political road map. He once denied his aspiration to the presidency when he first ran for the Senate. Now it's all clear the presidency is his ultimate goal when the political climate suddenly swinged to his favor. By all means, he is not different from any other politician except that he is a better cameieon appealing to the same colors of his supporters. It's all about packaging and slogan stupid. "change" is a 2 edge sword. it might turn out to be for the worst under his presidency. caveat emptor.

    January 6, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    I like Edwards, but I don't like his approach to increasing welfare and socialized programs.

    January 6, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. Kevin

    It would be great if the media would stop building up and or tearing down the canadices of various politicians. The media are all trying to make great predictions and comments in order to improve their ratings as opposed to reporting on the issues and how they effect everyday working Americans. Good luck John, even if you do not win at least keep standing up for the middle class.

    January 6, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. Harold Bishop, NH

    Hang in there John, and defeat Hillary!

    Obama for President!
    Edwards for VP!

    =Republicans: no chance!

    January 6, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Tim

    CNN – Where is the coverage of the 3000+ that attended Hillary's rally today? The American people are waiting for you to be fair and give equal an unbiased coverage to all the candidates. Stop selling us Obama. Not everyone one has bought the hype. We are not zombies that do just what the media tells us to do. Report the facts!

    January 6, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. sam

    Not surre if Edward in running for Pres or VP. He teamed up with Obama to bring down Hillary, that is quiet interesting. And for media they have thier own stories and headlines.

    January 6, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. JA

    An Obama/Edwards debate would be great but that would make Hillary pout.
    The leading candidates for the Democratic Party all have legal backgrounds. I tell you if I needed a lawyer to fight for me from that group it would be Edwards hands down.
    Sat by his wife at a town meeting in Iowa....Great lady, common and down-to-Earth. Yes, they have a few bucks and are living the American Dream but it wasn't handed to them. I suppose if I had worked my butt off and gone to law school I could be way more comfortable than I am now.
    I like Obama but I am not sure he has enough fight to square up to those that aren't willing to negotiate.

    January 6, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  11. Kristy Show Me State


    My family is going to stay right with you! Excellent DEBATE showing!
    Your 12:00 rally shown on CSPAN hits the soul!

    John my family loves to see your passion (INSPIRING)!


    January 6, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  12. J Williamson Buffalo, NY

    I'm annoyed at you media folks for STILL only focusing on Hillary/Obama. Edwards took second place in Iowa, and by tradition, the spot-light moves to the the two top finishers in the New Hampshire contest. This hasn't happened! WHY? Mr. Edwards finished Iowa with a significantly higher percentage of the vote in Iowa over his 2004 showing (he came in second that year as well). I'm sure Hillary/Obama makes great copy (great story, no doubt!), but be fair and mentally honest about it.

    January 6, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  13. Kelligesq

    If you want to see John Edwards in the White HOuse start contributing on his website.

    It doesnt matter whether it's 10/15/ or $20 or if youcan send
    $100 or $1000 absolutely do it. He needs the money because unlike Hillary and Obama he didnt take any pac or lobbyist money. Everything he gets will be matched by the feds but not until March, which leaves him short of money to keep going.

    So if you can send anything, send it.

    I'm convinced he would return America to what it's supposed to be: FOR THE PEOPLE !!

    January 6, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. Leslie Anne Geddes

    Where is the media coverage of John Edwards?

    January 6, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  15. Kristy Show Me State





    January 6, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |


    January 6, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  17. Wynter

    Edwards is playing games with the Primary voters. He knows he can't make it to the end. So he is playing Obama's backup in an effort to be tagged as his VP running mate. Worst of all he is playing spoiler to Hillary by attacking her "for" the Obama Camp. I am beginning to change my opinion of this lawyer turned politician. He is disreputable.

    Loudon, NH

    January 6, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  18. jp/michigan

    The debate show us an EDWARDS AND OBAMA ticket. They will have to fight it out who will be President or vice president. Edwards needs a job.

    January 6, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. Karen Grube

    I've never contributed to an election campaign before, but I have been contributing a small amount to the John Edwards campaign each month for the past year.

    Hillary Clinton is too entrenched with the corporate lobbyists to do us any good. As far as I'm concerned she'd only continue giving these large corporations exactly what they want because she has been listening to them and meeting with them far too often to expect anything else. And I'm basing this in part on the so-called survey she sent to Democrats early last year about the time she declared her candidacy. All of the questions had pre-implied answers and were so one-sided it was ridiculous, and none of them even began to address the very serious problems we have in this country, It was clear from the start that she was only looking for people to focus only surface 'hot button' issues, and not on the important issues like the employment and housing crisis we face and stopping Congress from wasting billions of dollars each year on all these stupid entitlements. In other words, the questions she asked about health care, for example, were geared toward still paying off the insurance and pharmceutical companies who would lose money if there were any real reform in health care. Frankly, I was disgusted and wrote a very angry letter back asking her not to insult my intelligence like that again.

    As much as I respect Barach Obama's desire to bring change to the presidency, I simply don't think he's capable. I really don't. I honestly believe that this country will only find real change for the better if John Edwards becomes our next President.

    January 6, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. Dee Ward Mena, AR

    John after your attack on Hillary in the debates last night I would never vote for you for anything. you used to be a nice guy but I guess when you are losing then you attack anyone you think gets in your way. I wouldn't have been surprised to see you hug and kiss obama last night you were so buddy, buddy with him. It was really sickning. At one time I thought you were the candidate of choice but no more. Anyone who can turn on a fellow candidate like you did would not be a good president or vice president. Just remember how mean you were last night when you look in the mirror. You won't be going much farther or if you do you will just be wasting your money and the money of your supporters. You might as well drop out now. If you were the nominee, and you won't be, I would have to vote Republican, something I never though I could do. No one should vote for you because you have a pretty face, or obama because he is black (half black that is) or Hillary because she is a woman, they should vote for the best qualified person for the job and that is definitely Hillary. GO HILLARY

    January 6, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  21. Tim Calhoun '08, Moreno Valley, CA

    Sue said Hillary Clinton "understands the Middle East and will be a force for positive change (not war!) there." Um...what? She voted for the Iraq war all the way down the line and also the Kyl-Lieberman Act which declared the Iranian military a "terrorist organization." And unlike John Edwards, she hasn't even bothered to say she was wrong about Iraq.

    January 6, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. Bruce J Simpson

    Edwards all the way, and I am running for delegate pledged to John.

    January 6, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  23. Uma, mpls, MN

    John Edward was almost naked in yesterday's debate; he was siding towards Obama so badly as if he needed Obama to survive. Same on him! I found Hillary is very knowledgeable in each topic among democratic candidate. she is one of the smartest person but her gender is wrong for American macho society, that's the only one reason Hillary is back. But I believe NH she will win.

    I am a democrat but i will never vote for this trial layer who is so much phony.

    January 6, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  24. pam Eugene OR

    Hi Vic in Sugar Land.
    I admit those are admiral things she has accomplished but still do not see how any of those things you mentioned get her any more experience in leading and organizing this country than the others. I do have to wonder about the six years on the board for Wal Mart which you left out.
    I believe the primary reason that she was unable to make heath care work the first time is that she is incapable of working well with others. Hillary is not able to unite people. Universal health care is a great idea and should have worked in the 90's. I am not in favor mandated anything, even health care. It will take much more than wanting it to happen. Our President will need to work across party lines to accomplish anything and she is not the person to do that. I consider my self to be fairly well informed on Hillary's resume and positions. My son. a successful attorney is a big Hillary supporter and we have debated her for year now. Don't worry...she will get his vote and we will cancel each other out.
    May the best man win!

    January 6, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  25. kate

    John Edwards id the ONLY Democratic Candidate who will get the vote of this lifelong Democrat.
    Hillary , I'm tired of Clintons and Bushes running the Country.
    This ain't no Monarchy!
    Obama, you are a 1st term Senator who has spent all that time RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT!

    John Edwards was INSPIRATIONAL last night!
    Hillary sounded angry.
    And Obama seemed to me to be parroting Edwards' theme.

    John is the Democratic party's best hope to take back the White House.

    January 6, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
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