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. JOE

    Poor John....if he cant even get the media to look at him seriously...how are we supposed to? He is weak, weak, weak...good intentioned, perhaps, but weak, weak, weak and remember... the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    January 21, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  2. Kevin, Ames IA

    Is everyone CRAZY?

    Obama/Edwards ticket would be the worst thing to happen to Democrats.

    10 years of experience TOTAL between the two?

    I'm sick of people voting with their feelings, vote with your brain.

    January 21, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  3. Barton Harrison

    John Edwards
    I have to respect how hard you are working. I can't understand why your Message is not getting to more people. It is hard for me to mingle with crowds so I Vote on a paper ballet by mail Since 2004 all of my extended family Votes the same way.. So fare we have not seen any Independent that is electable.
    For all the good it dose My family has cast their Vote for You [that is about 200 people]. Large family's are the rule in Utah and long life. Our great great grand kid's are starting to have children. Yes Mormons are like rabbits.
    Good Luck John Edwards
    Bart & Barbs Harrison

    January 21, 2008 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  4. pete




    January 21, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  5. Abhijit

    Hey Edwards,
    It ain't gonna happen.
    People KNOW you for who you are.

    January 21, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  6. jane

    Edwards is a good, honest man who truly cares about the people and have dedicated his life to defend people like you and me.

    Hillary is a hardworking woman who has endured so many criticisms and battles within the system to bring about change to people outside the sytem like you and me.

    Obama is a great speaker but there's a lack of specificities in his past (or speeches) to prove to me that he can truly endure, defend and lead this country into the right direction that I can easily draw from looking at Edwards & Clinton's histories / experiences. Unfortunately, I believe that Obama's excellent speech-delivering abilities have swept us off our feets and away from reality.

    My fellow Americans, I give you a little piece of reminder: Great hopes and big dreams cannot be realized without the right experience, dedication, commitment and a specific plan. It takes more than delivering great "feel-good" speeches to bring about true change...

    January 21, 2008 12:53 am at 12:53 am |
  7. kjmatthews

    Hillary/Obama 08

    Obama/?? 16

    Edwards – thank you for coming.

    January 21, 2008 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  8. Kelly

    I think it's interesting that people think Edwards is "more electable" than Clinton or Obama, yet he can't even get a decent "win" or even close win in his own party. And don't be so sure all of his supporters would flock to Obama... as if they are sheep or lemmings. I suspect they have minds of their own and can decide for themselves who they want to support. Even if they did all flock to Obama's camp, Nevada proves that Clinton would have still pulled off the percentage points... by a hair, but a win is a win. (real results pending April). Edwards didn't even walk away with an estimated delegate.

    Some of y'all are just as bad as the media. A bunch of talking heads that don't really know whats going to happen, making predictions based on spin and biased agendas, and then having to eat crow. Bunch of media puppets. Whooooops. People should do their own homework and quit looking to the biased media to spoon feed you your opinions.

    Point is, it's still much too soon to know. I'm a Clinton supporter, but if she doesn't get the nom, I'll vote for the democratic party. Bottom line is, Obama won't bring about any more (political football word of the day) "CHANGE" than any other potential democratic nominee. Just look at his voting record. Hold it up to Clinton's (only counting the times he actually voted of course), he votes the same. He hasn't introduced any ground breaking legislation or grassroots movements that sets him apart from any of the other "Washington" folk. Has anyone asked him what he means by "change". You'd probably get a similar picture as Clinton and Edwards would present. So, to throw away your vote just because your "choice" didn't win is irresponsible and damaging to the democratic system. Especially with the mess the republicans have created during these last 7 years + one more to do as much more damage as they can. I suspect that the "defectors if Obama doesn't get the nod" are actually republican plants, or independents that lean toward the republican vote already, and are content with the way things are right now.

    Unfortunately for Edwards, he's eating crow about now. He spoke much too soon about Clinton being knocked out of the race re: Iowa, making it a "two man race." Semi-Stealth Sexism much? Actually it's rather overt. Outright sexism is still "openly" accepted in our world.

    Electing Clinton, the act in itself would be remarkable "change" in our country, as would electing Obama. That's really the only ground breaking change we will see.

    Clinton '08. (and I would even say that Clinton/Obama '08 would be much more powerful than Obama/Edwards... Just look at the numbers. Clinton and Obama are neck-n-neck. Eddie is eating their dust).

    January 21, 2008 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  9. GoldCanyonGal

    If Edwards can just hang on, he'll start getting all those disillusioned Obama supporters soon...voters who won't pick Hillary as their 1st choice, but are starting to see thru the Obama mirage...voters who don't appreciate being pulled into a black/white divide in the Democratic Party...voters who hate everything that senile old coot Reagan stood for...Edwards may play out just the opposite on Feb 5th, pulling votes away from Obama and handing the nomination to Hillary. Thanks, John! There's hope for you yet...and probably a nice place in the cabinet, too! Mr Attorney General?

    January 21, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  10. reader-of-many-sources

    Edwards is NOT running for the democratic nomination.
    Edwards IS running to be nominated as VICE President.

    January 21, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  11. Erin

    Obama/Edwards..'08..... enough said 🙂

    January 21, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  12. wakeupamerica!

    I am always so amazed as i read through these commentary platforms at how many stupid people are in this world....I think they should make it mandatory for Americans to pass a IQ test before they can even cast a vote.

    Wake up america!!! your all stupid enough to not see the real deal
    over the fake phony lying candidates that would rather snow ball you
    and take your voting rights away from you (Clinton/obama)

    obama and clinton supporters......your rude and you deserve to be used by your candidate , you deserve to be governed by the likes of them.

    but the rest of us that see the truth and go with INTEGRITY do not deserve it.

    January 21, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  13. Obama 08

    Edwards needs to step out of the race. He's taking votes away from Obama.

    January 21, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  14. JohnS

    Adam: I 'm not dumb, but if I were Obama, I would never join a Clinton ticket. Remember why GORE lost the presidency; well, it was because of Bill Clinton's "bad behaviors" as judged by the nation and the world. We may have short-term memories, but the world and the Republicans do not. By the time the Republicans are done with Hillary, Obama (as then VP) would have had no chance, just as Gore had no chance...... Obama, please say NO to any aspect of the Clinton ticket; it would be self-destructive!!!!!

    January 21, 2008 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  15. jimbob


    I would be happy to see Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama win but I don't think they can convince the red states. I'm not from the south. I'm from Canada.


    January 21, 2008 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  16. carol

    John – I pray you go home and take care of your sick wife and raise your children. There are plenty of things to do that don't require being the President.

    Good Luck – you are a nice man.

    January 21, 2008 03:10 am at 3:10 am |
  17. alan

    Obama/Edwards 08

    Get behind Obama. If Edwards supports Obama this nomination process will become real easy and even easier turing a general. Obama and edwards can both compete in red states and pull republicans to vote for a obama/edwards ticket. A little populism never hurt conservatives in rural america.

    January 21, 2008 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  18. theo

    you sure did pretty boy.

    January 21, 2008 04:33 am at 4:33 am |
  19. bryan ducayne

    If I won at the lottery, I would like to to try to accomplish something revolutionary...to decrease greed and warfare.


    I would try to converse with those at MIT about my idea(s).

    I would try to speak with the mayors of every city, and the govenors of every state. The Federal Government is incapable of doing what is right for the country and it's people!

    Next I would take on the insurance and HMO companies.

    If u want to make a profit, fine, but not at the cost of someone else's physical health!

    And finally the most powerful group of sadists, the Weaponary Industry! These folks promote instability throughout the world!!!

    The weapon Industry has never been held accountable for anything!

    And finally as an after-thought, The penal institutions.
    We need to have violent felons separated from everyone else, As too, we should have, drug dealers and those who assault others together. We have come to a point in our life-cycle where we must adjust to the populations. We must build more prisons in the areas where their is less availability for the popolation to build homes and businesses. This would create massive jobs. I can, if allowed make the cost of gasoline under $1.27 a gallon!!!

    The EUROPEAN nations have spread their insiduious tenticles all through the cultures of all mankind!!!
    Marco Polo and others have either assisted in the demise of that culture or it's Religious Philosophy!

    The jihad of the world will be soon, relatively speaking. What did the president of Iran say in his 1st speech as president? Where and who are the alliances? The United States of America is widely despised, because The President of the US of A wanted to avenge his father, and Saddam called him a yellow coward over the air-waves!
    Now 4,000+ dead, 29,000 wounded, and very little backup for them, 12 trillion in debt, borders and ports unsecure from almost anything, and finally, the middle class of the US is being taxed beyond their ME generation psych.

    January 21, 2008 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  20. bryan ducayne

    If we as Americans want to elect a president and vp who are worthy of the position, then I feel that Obama and Romney should be the ticket. Hillary IS experienced in politics, but what has that got us? We need someone different! I am a Republican, but I feel the closest I can come to the person I can evision and who may think of THE citizens of the USA first, would be the above two names.

    January 21, 2008 05:14 am at 5:14 am |
  21. Geneva

    Edwards just isn't very likeable. It's obvious he rides the coats tails of others not being able to get the nomination. He says what people want to hear... except for that little debaucle where he went on and on about patients rights act, but neglected to point out that it didn't even pass. He won't win the nomination, but he'll continue to help Hillary by taking votes away from Obama. If Hillary is nominated I don't think she'll be choosing Edwards for VP.

    January 21, 2008 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  22. The Observer

    I have a strong feeling that Edwards is now making his pitch for VP – it seems clear to me that a Clinton/Obama ticket or vice versa is not on the cards and that Edwards is the only one who can provide a balance to a Democratic ticket.

    January 21, 2008 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  23. Jack K.

    Don't know where this will end up.

    I hope more people will visit his website and sse his agenda.
    Stuck in a popular history lesson–running against a woman and a black–has certainly not gained him superstar status.
    His position on lobbyists in Washington–isn't hitting a very resonant tone with the DNC who have benefited, particularly in the 2008 contests, by donations from special interests, PAC's, and big dollar donors 3:1 over the Republicans. They fear, with good reason, if he is elected the money will dry up and ruin their chances of retaining the White House in 2012.

    I'm sticking with John Edwards. I believe he needs to push his economic plans–and focus on the impact on creation and sustainment of small businesses in the next economic growth cycle–environmental/green products, services, and support.

    January 21, 2008 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  24. Ignorte the Bigots

    Lucy – the reason that she is treated with such venom is that she as a woman she dares to have an opinion – it is more a fact at how misogynistic this country is than anything else – I'm just glad that many women are seeing beyond that and voting for candidates on the real issues and not the press's tainted picture of Clinton.

    January 21, 2008 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  25. Beasley

    If john Edwards had not attacked Obama so viciously, he would have done much better Saturday.

    Obama will never get the LIBERAL WHITE VOTE but John Edwards could eventually get it when Obama drops out shortly because, contrary to the decent people of Iowa, White people in other places will vote for the white person.


    January 21, 2008 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
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