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. Mrs. America

    For people who don't think Edwards gets fair media coverage, he's been at all of the debates. People who are interested know his message. As for me, I am so tired of his two anecdotes. If he would come up with some new material, maybe he'd get more non-debate media coverage.

    January 20, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  2. Independent in America

    "Hillary is not electable. Who wants to see Slick Willie back in the WH? What do you think he would do this time in the WH with Hillary a busy President?"

    ^^^ KAY January 20, 2008 2:35 pm it's past time to move on and stop being so curlish, it's not becoming of the childish mindset of the Obama followers!!

    It makes you no better than the GOP trolls or the Ron Paul fans (who at least have to be noted for their fanatical dedication in Iowa, NH, and the 2nd place showing in NV).

    Look up Obama's negative ratings vs Hillarys = and you will find that they are virtually the same. Also take a look at the Republicans. Hillary beats Huckabee, Giuliani, Romney, and McCain beats Obama.

    Edwards is to be commended for giving it his all and should not give up the ship yet. His ratings have been steadily increasing because of the ongoing Hillary – Obama feud which was actually FIRST spanned by the media (and Donna Brazile in particular) and which is STILL fanning the flames to gain readership and money 🙁 Remember sensationalism sells... BUT YOUR COMMENTS ARE BOORISH AT BEST!!

    January 20, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  3. James Brown ( Independent )

    Edwards is done , and if he doesn't get out soon , so is the Demcrats hopes of taking back the White House.

    There is just no way Clinton can win in the General Election , independents won't vote for her............Democrats will cross over to keep her from getting elected.

    Obama is the only Democrat that stands a chance of going all the way.

    January 20, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  4. Diana Baskin

    I really like Edwards and wish he were more popular. If he remains in the race when it is time for me to vote I will vote for him. Obama would be my second choice. I think Edwards would stand up for the poor and middle class. I also really like his wife. I don't think I can vote for Hillary but I don't like any of the Republicans either.

    January 20, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  5. Teacher Mike in Ft Lauderdale

    I've read every one of these comments about John Edwards. I like this man and I plan to vote for him in the Florida primary.

    January 20, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  6. Karen P

    John Edwards is a very good candidate and I resent the media projecting winners when so many other states vote in February.

    Advice for John...instead of the negative on corporations...make them feel guilty. Start campaign with "Corporate Responsibility" instead. Keep the campaign positive, but play the guilt trip on corporations not taking care of American workers.

    Safer to side with Obama...too many people hate Hillary. I really enjoyed one debate when Barak and John ganged up on Hillary...hope that continues. Please DON'T befriend Hillary no matter what she promises. Hang in there.

    January 20, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  7. joe

    although his chances seem to be slim to none, i personally can respect mr. edwards', and other lower tiered candidates, determination to put up the best possible fight they can muster. echoing what mr richardson stated, i for one would not mind if all candidates have to compete on the same level field, having equal funds to use and not having some who are inherently incapable of competing dues to their lack of rich supporters. debate and choices are healthy things, and if our politics becomes reduced to a populatiry contest how can we ever hope to get out of the mess we all find ourselves in today.

    January 20, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  8. Herman P Sperman

    Now if only Edwards would stay in Vegas. There ought to be enough ambulances there for him to chase.

    January 20, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  9. Andrew

    Actually i do want Edwards to do well in South Carolina and come in second with
    Hillary getting a humiliating 3rd place finish with few delegates to take with her from SC
    Go Edwards (do the best you can)

    January 20, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  10. richard

    I am so over this guy. He is such a twit and he is so unimportant at this point when he attacks Clinton or Obama, his attacks go unresponded to. He needs to drop out and perhaps the few votes he does get will go to more qualified deserving candidates.

    January 20, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  11. From The North

    Edwards: 'I got my butt kicked'
    And someone needs to kick it again John!

    In fact, I think someone needs to kick all the Democratic Candidates'
    Butts. They are behaving like third grave students and still feel Americans
    should trust, respect and elect them to the Office of the Presidency!!!!
    Grow up and then try the next election. You are all pathetic and need to be
    chastized for your childish behaviour. Maybe a time out from America....

    Actually I don't think there is a Candidate from either party that is mature enough to govern their Campaign let alone the Nation! And now we have Obama boo hoooing and throwing stones again.....and Bill and Hill will throw them back.....
    and then all the kids in the neighbourhood will come to join the fight.....and pick sides.

    Holy Cow..... Somebody get some Smarties for kiddies before they start making mud balls our of the manure.

    January 20, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. Miss K

    I'll bet that haircut was $400 because John Edwards gave a HUGE tip!

    I'm a volunteer for the Edwards campaign. I've made hundreds of calls in the last few days to South Carolina residents about the Primary this Saturday. I won't stop fighting because I believe in Edwards and that he's the person for the job. Hands down. I have hundreds more calls to make and I won't let the nastiest of calls get me down (and guess who the nastiest of my callers are? They aren't Clinton supporters, and they aren't GOP... !!! Shame, shame. Many purposefully hold me up and try to waste my time so I can't make other calls.)

    Edwards is an incredibly viable candidate with a campaign platform that his running mates have adopted and morphed into their own.

    The problem is, he's not a white woman, or an African-American man. Because the truth is, this is all about gender, race and the fact that when you turn on the news- on any channel- it apparently is a 2 person race.

    I read time and time again- " a vote for Edwards is a vote for Clinton"... well, in my opinion, A vote for Clinton or Obama is a vote for the GOP!

    Let's be realistic and stop drinking the purple kool-aid, now...

    January 20, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  13. kwame


    January 20, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  14. VA Voter

    ::yawn:: Obama is sooooooooo overrated....I am tired of hearing his rhetoric and distortions. He is NO different and he completely cracks me up with his "the American people will have to make sacrifices" garbage. Obviously he is just as out of touch as the rest of them because as an American that is already making A LOT of sacrifices, for him in his three piece suit to tell ME to sacrifice MORE is a complete joke! Sacrifice THIS Obama! John Edwards is the ONLY candidate that has walked the walk. Hillary beats Obama in intelligence and experience any day so I say either hang in there John or throw your support behind someone who does more than just vote "present". She brings intelligence, John brings integrity....you cant beat that combo!

    January 20, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  15. Mike T

    Maybe Edwards wouldn't be such a "distant third" if the media gave him ANY kind of coverage at all. Every story is Clinton or Obama, and I get the impression way more than half are Clinton.

    January 20, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  16. Grace

    I hope Edwards drops out and joins up with Obama as is running mate/VP. And announces that right away. They would be able to beat Hillary easily.

    January 20, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  17. hey allons,tn

    hey EDWARDS the people of america need you please the republicans have destroye the american DREAM help the poor and middle class EDWARDS or CLINTON 08 EDWARDS and CLINTON UNITED 08

    January 20, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  18. Murry

    Kudos to Edwards for sticking with it for so long. He seems like an upstanding guy and he seems very passionate. If he decides to drop out of the race I hope that he decides to support Obama, someone who's also passionate and speaks from the heart.
    We need a leader with vision. We need someone who inspires us. Someone with a dream of hope. For the cynics out there...there's nothing wrong with a dream. MLK had one.

    January 20, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  19. Mike, Conway, AR

    Edwards needs to drop out if he doesn't get at least 2nd in South Carolina. If he can't do that in the state where he was born and raised, he's not going to win anywhere.

    January 20, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  20. Thomas

    John Edwads is the best person for the job; unfortunately, people are too influenced by the right-wing's protrayal of him as a slick, southern huckster. America will not elect a black or female candidate especially when McCain et al continue to play the fear card. Thus, Hil or Obama will win dem primary and then will be beaten in the election by one of the 3 stooges, Mitt, McCain, or Huckabee the nutjob. Another crappy, worthless 8 years..how depressing.

    January 20, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  21. Kathy

    So when is Edwards going to SUE someone over this? (it's how he trys to "fix" everything else, isn't it)

    January 20, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  22. Scott

    Thanks for staying in the race John! John has the background and guts to get elected. Unfortunately too many people are basing votes on the uniqueness of the other two candidates instead of who is best for the job. This will not win the White House. All of the candidates are good people. John Edwards would make a good President! Please people, look at issues, plans and why they are running, not celebrities or past Presidents. The United States is a great and unique country with great people. Vote for someone who will help this country be the best it can be.

    January 20, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  23. Jessie

    I have read quite a few of these comments and I am disappointed in some of their analysis of each Dem Candidate. No one seems to be looking at the issues each and every candidate stand behind. Everyone seems to be speaking from emotion. No wonder President Bush was elected President of our society. He was a man who never faced a bullet coming at him in war, but, he decided to go to war and kill others. He never had a hard day in his life where he had to worry about his bills not being paid. He is a person who has had the good life and does not even understand, nor care, about what the average person has to go through everyday just to survive. But america did elect someone like him to represent us (?) And now all of you are doing the same thing again. Think about CHANGE and what it would mean in your life. Hilary..status quo. Edwards...status quo. McCain...status quo. Romney...Status quo. Huckabee...status quo. All have been a part of the establishment and have not done anything to buck Washington. Don,t let your precious Vote go for naught again.

    January 21, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  24. Adam

    Edwards, while perhaps a good guy, has no chance of becoming a VP candidate. Obama wouldn't pick him because an Edwards ticket would only compound criticisms that Obama's too inexperienced; Edwards' six years in the Senate, preceded by no legislative experience, would do little to remedy Obama's central electability weakness.

    McCain would easily exploit the issue, pointing out that he himself has served in government for probably two or three times as long as Obama and Edwards combined. It would be crushing in a general election.

    Hillary would be wise to pick Obama as her running-mate, and she knows it. Yes, the two front-runners are screaming at each other, but there's nothing like mutual political interest to restore an alliance. Obama would be stunningly naive (and arrogant) to decline a Vice Presidential offer, as it could guarantee him the nomination in '12/'16, whereas another VP candidate would seize that opportunity from him. Edwards, however, would be a liability for Clinton, as his hard-left rhetoric could reinforce conservative and independent perceptions that Hillary is too divisive to win.

    If she can't make things work out with Obama, Hillary would be better-suited to look to a young, moderate Democrat such as Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) or even my freshman home-state senator, un-Swift Boat-able Vietnam War hero, and Reagan Navy secretary (Reagan - independent-voter bonus points), Jim Webb (D-VA). (For the record, Virginia has a good history of White House successes.)

    But, whatever happens, Edwards must support the eventual nominee; doing anything less would be not only self-destructive but also calamitous for the Democratic Party. It's time that Democrats stop screaming at each other like protesters at abortionists. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would, despite individual political/personal shortcomings, make excellent and effective presidents.

    However, for her strength; her resolve; her profound comprehension of economic and national-security issues; and, in my mind, her experience; I support Senator Hillary Clinton for President of the United States.

    January 21, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  25. Matt

    I surely hope with Edwards bows out, that he formally backs Obama. Maybe there will be enough time before Super Tuesday for the majority of his supporters, and Kucinich's supporters to get behind Obama before it's too late! You all have the power to help us stop another 4 years of the Clintons! To stop all the divisiveness and negativity and corporate greed. You all have the chance to be part of something big and great, and the time is now. It's not too late! Please join together and get behind a good man.

    Vote Obama to be the Democratic candidate for President of the United States of America! It's time to have someone that can bring us together, and work for all of us!

    January 21, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
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