January 20th, 2008
06:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Edwards: 'I got my butt kicked'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/20/art.edwards.ap.jpg caption=" Edwards said Sunday he's in it for the long haul. "](CNN) - After a crushing loss in Nevada's Democratic caucuses Saturday, presidential candidate John Edwards said Sunday that he hopes "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas."

Edwards placed a distant third in the vote, with just 4 percent of the vote, behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

“I got my butt kicked. That is what happened in Nevada,” the former North Carolina senator told Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s Late Edition. “And the job for me now is - I have learned this from my whole life experience, is when you get knocked down, you have got to get up. You have got to get up and start fighting again…

“I would kind of like to go back to the old Las Vegas saying, though. You know, ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’? I hope that turns out to be true in this case.”

Instead of campaigning in Nevada in the days before Saturday’s vote, Edwards focused instead on stumping in his birth state of South Carolina, where he won the 2004 primary.

Edwards is running a distant third in the state in most recent surveys, behind Obama and Clinton.

Saturday night, after his disappointing Nevada finish, his campaign tried to downplay the importance of results in any one state. "The race to the nomination is a marathon and not a sprint,” said Edwards’ campaign manager, former Rep. David Bonior. “The nomination won't be decided by win-loss records, but by delegates, and we're ready to fight for every delegate.”

On Sunday, Edwards continued to sound a cautious theme, saying South Carolina was “important,” but just one “part of the long process. …We will see how it goes.”

Related video: Watch Edwards' Late Edition interview with Wolf Blitzer

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: John Edwards • Nevada
soundoff (307 Responses)
  1. John

    Of course Edwards is in it for the long haul; running for president is his job. He's been doing it for 10 years. He's the new William Jennings Bryan, except Edwards can't even win the nomination, forget the presidency.

    January 20, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. AnnAloha, PA Independent Thinker

    I have to admit, this guy is really making an impression with his "settling Down" effort.
    I feel he should have just relaxed in the beginning and let the other "2" knock each other down to a pulp and then make his move.
    His earthiness is a welcome change and I am feeling him more and I do hope he makes gains in the upcoming preliminaries.

    January 20, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. Jenny, Paxton, MA


    If you're in it for your personal glory, you know you're toast.

    If you want to help bring about real change, you've only just begun the process.

    Eyes on the prize, deal??

    January 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Ed

    The time has come for the used car salesman to return to the lot, count the inventory, and get back to what he is really good at. John, the cars are waiting!!!!!

    January 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  5. Grover

    The media has ignored Edwards and he gives us no reason to think of him anything but a potential VP.

    If you want to see something intelligent come out of Washington, consider Ron Paul. If you believe in liberty, consider Ron Paul. If you think it’s time to put our country back in the hands of the people, consider Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul is a true agent of change.

    The man loves this country and the constitution. I trust him.

    My name is Grover and I approve this message.

    January 20, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. R.

    Edwards is playing a different card now. He might be rallying behind Obama or Hillary in the end. However, so far, he is behaved decently and should be praised for showing that at least one current runner in the Democratic Party cares about the party's reputation and image and plays fair. On the other hand, if the two front-runners keep fighting so nastily and letting expose the party's flaws all around, I see the McCain Family moving into the White House in January '09.

    January 20, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. Lorenz, Queens, NY

    Edwards if you were smart you would get out of the race and run with Obama – YOU WILL GET INTO THE WHITE HOUSE UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS. What you are doing now, is infact – TAKING votes away from Obama, and the result is Clinton gaining bigger and bigger leads.

    Use your brain Edwards, please.

    January 20, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Hanah Morgan, Bloomington, IL

    John Edwards will save this country if we let him.

    January 20, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. pam Eugene OR

    Please John, if SC doesn't go well, throw your support to Barack.
    Obama/Edwards 08

    January 20, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Leah Trantham

    I agree with Mr. Edwards. Thinking individuals should not just look at what's obvious--there's much more to be gleaned by examining each candidate in a more detailed fashion. While I am quite conservative, I believe Mr. Edwards has the best plans for ther United States. His campaign is not fluffy and inflated by the injection of hot-air celebrities, his campaign garners respect and belief. Here's hoping he will make a good showing and somehow end up in the White House in any capacity. His honesty and tenacity as well as willingness to stand up for his beliefs are much needed there.

    January 20, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  11. Is laughing at the outcome!

    Yes you did Edwards! You got a large head with IA ("it is me and Obama) and look what it got you... Learn from your mistakes and don't think you are "one of the contenders." It will be clinton and obama fighting for it, lesten to what America wants and it is not you!

    January 20, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  12. Ndong Martin San Marino(Italy)

    I think that only Edward could save Obama by getting also many vote from Clinton old electorate, the example in Iowa, when Edwards goes well, Obama make quite better. So I think it is important for Obama that Edwards remain on lice, even his influence in those two last appointment (NH and NV) has been very insignificant.

    Anyway I think also that Obama and those who support him like me we have to keep hope because 4 o 3 months ago nobody could imagine the possibility of getting those good result by Obama, specially when you look for the polls this period of time.
    So, keep HOPE !

    Yes we can,
    Yes we can!

    One "Obama boy" from Italy, sorry for my poor English I am french speaker!

    January 20, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. James D.

    for John Edwards! Very refreshing honesty. I'm an Obama supporter, but John's a class act. Wish I could say the same for Clintons.

    Please John...** if ** you don't win SC...drop out and endorse Obama! Get yourself some brownie points for VP!

    Obama / Biden 08

    January 20, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  14. Billary suck

    Get together with Obama so we can kick hillary's butt.

    January 20, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. Carol Moessinger

    The media has, in effect, boycotted John Edwards' campaign. If the media, including CNN, gave Edwards better coverage, more people would see what a viable candidate he is.

    You've got your Bogie (Obama) and Bacall (Clinton) out front and are so starry eyed that you forget what your job is and that's to cover ALL the candidates.

    Even Ron Paul and what's-his-name from New York have gotten more coverage. CNN and all the media appear to be showing bigotry toward one candidate.

    January 20, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. stephen

    John Edwards deserves it, after being one of those complicit in ABC, NBC, and now CNN keeping Dennis Kucinich silenced. Considering that Edwards' has all but stolen 95% of Kucinich's talking points, maybe he'll be chastened enough to off that Dennis deserves some recognition even though his own party and the media are shutting him out.

    And now Edwards' is talking about how the media re ignoring him. They are.

    And Edwards would still be better than Hillary or Obama, but it's time to show some guts, there Johnny.

    January 20, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. joe

    you stink edwards

    January 20, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Ed,Ellenville,New York

    No John,you didn't get your butt kicked. The Obama people tried to steal the Nevada caucuses and your base came out to help Hillary squash them. Hang in there until the very end and you'll be rewarded for it. Everybody agrees that you have the best ideas first and whoever gets to the finish line is going to need you.

    January 20, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Ryk

    It is a shame that Edwards is tanking. I had hoped he would be the candidate last election. I would have voted for him then and would support him over Clinton or Obama this election. Part of why I think he is doing poorly is because the Democrats are all so alike in their positions that it is impossible for one to stand out on the issues so it has come down to a choice between black or woman. The Clinton campaign has tried to make experience an issue, but it is all spin. If the Democratic party cared about experience Edwards would be the front runner by 80-90 percent. Obama has made a big deal about change but everyone knows that if any Democrat is elected we will get change. It will be the exact same change no matter who wins, so again it comes down to black or woman.
    The other problem Edwards has is his association with John Kerry. Kerry was a terrible candidate who ran a lousy campaign. As the VP of that disaster Edwards got swiftboated right along with Kerry. Being unable to beat Bush puts Kerry in the mind of many voters as unelectable to dog catcher. Fairly or not many people fear that Edwards isn't electable either.

    January 20, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  20. Paul

    John Edward's message builds on the developing class warfare we are now seeing in the US. He says you can't "nice" people to the table. He wants to trial lawyer his way to the presidency by convincing 50.01% of the people that he can lead them to the promised land by attacking the other 49.09 percent of the Americans. I think the more consensus building message of Barack Obama and to an extent Hillary Clinton resonates better across the political spectrum. We are all tired of the in fighting, bickering and finger pointing. Most seem ready for a little "can't we just all get along out there" rather than the pitched battle Edward's is pushing.

    January 20, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  21. Mark, Shreveport, LA

    John Edwards, you are an angry, bitter man trying to start class warfare. Please bow out.

    January 20, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  22. Tom Masters

    Oh, is he STILL running for something like President or Vice President or something?

    Sad, let a dead dog lie bro.

    January 20, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  23. hehe

    I still think Edward's messages are better than Obama's. the deadly disavantage for him is that he is not so cool as obama.

    January 20, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. Ray

    I don't see much point in Edwards staying in the election but at the same time I don't understand why anyone would vote for Clinton. I think South Carolina is going to be a big key to the puzzle.

    January 20, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. Matt

    At least he's funny and right. It's about time to drop out Mr. Edwards, you can't win. But unless you want 4 years of Hillary type shenanigans in the White House, please put your support behind the only man that can earn us the dignity and respect around the world we used to have, Barack Obama. If your supporters can get behind Mr. Obama, we may finally have a new day in America. A chance to right the wrongs, and get back to actually helping people.

    Obama '08

    January 20, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
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