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. Bo

    Comment Edwards made about ""what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." was very funny.

    January 21, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  2. Kay

    xtina, we do not live in the best country in the world anymore, thanks to the big corporations and their biggest lobbyists–the Chamber of Commerce. The UN and other studies now list countries in the Netherlands as the best place, because our companies have moved over there. One of the reasons they left the US was to get away from providing health insurance. In the Netherlands, the govn't provides national health care and that burden is removed from corporations. Also, the major aim of corporations, lobbyists and the govn't is to break labor unions and their collective bargaining. John Edwards believes in strong unions to protect blue collar rights.

    Middle class workers are victims to the extent that the govn't favors laws which benefit corporations and not the workers, who, by the way, are responsible for making a company work. The fat CEO who sits on his duff and makes more money in one year than we make in our lifetime is not the one working hard. Nor is he inspiring; otherwise, our economy would be much better. Further, if he screws up the company, as is the case for Countrywide, and another corporation steps in, the CEO who is ousted receives MILLIONS in the buyout. FYI, the wealthy in some instances pay a SMALLER RATE of income taxes than we do. As for free enterprise, where did you get that "original" idea?? Hon, the government and major corporations control that "free" enterprise.

    Yousuf in NY is correct about Obama; he will be very devisive. "African-american would go insane, and call it black power and I DONT want to see that." You can bet racial tensions will be at its highest since the '60s; and we have enough problems without that.

    You people better wake up. We definitely do not need another Republican in office at this point, unless it's Ron Paul who has been neglected by the media. For some reason, many people dislike Hillary. Something is very odd about the way Obama came to the forefront and the way the media has pushed him–don't trust that. Edwards is wealthy, but he earned it and wants others to have a chance to EARN their future as well. So he spent a few hundred on a haircut; it was his money. That's certainly not as bad as the CEO who spent thousands on a shower curtain, money he did not earn and did not really belong to him.

    For a stronger economy, better working conditions, future security, support Edwards and forget this nonsense about Obama.

    January 21, 2008 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. Noreen

    Edwards not very likeable? According to who? You should take the time to research what he has actually done. Yes, the Patient Bill of Rights did not pass but that is because GWB vetoed it! He started the Center on Poverty in NC and will continue to do good deeds for the greater good, even of people like you refuse to give him any credit. Another reminder is that this is a primary and not a general election. There is no such thing as "taking away votes" from a particular candidate.

    January 21, 2008 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  4. ronnie knoxille, tn.

    Waste of time. John Edwards will never be President of the United States; you know it, I know it, and the American people know it

    January 21, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. Tolu, Minneapolis, MN

    John, you sure did!

    January 21, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. John

    As a democrat, I am switching my support to the Republican Party, and I know many others who are doing the same. America can't afford another Clinton presidency or an Obama presidency.

    January 21, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  7. Dan - Austin,TX

    yeah Edwards is starting to look pretty good, and he doesn't even have any racist opreachers backing him up. ROFL

    January 21, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Jimmy, Oklahoma Feb. 5th

    Obama leaves Nevada screeeming The Clintons are picking on me. John left Nevada with his pride as Senator Clinton left Iowa with hers. She even called Obama and Congrats him. Obama calls Cryburn and cries. Bill Clinton is picking on me. Sound familar. Obama has cried everytime a little hot water comes his way. Then Cryburn -uncommitted he claims- goes on the defense for him scollding the Clintons. I am sorry but it was Clyburn who started the Issue about race now he is trying to say that Bill Clinton should not campaign for is wife because of his Presidential influnce. Jimmy Carter endorsed John Edwards. John Kerry endorsed Barack Obama and campaigns for him. Obama endorsed Kerry and campaign for him. Sounds like a very desparate Obama. John Edwards is a man for the respect that he has shown in the contest. Barack Obama is a sore loser.

    Senator Clinton for President "SHE'S THE REAL THING"

    January 21, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Edwards has too much talent to be tossed aside for Clinton or Obama. In fact, ALL of the Democrats have too much talent to be tossed aside. Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Richardson, and Biden are too good to send back to the Senate or to private life. We need them all in Washington in one important capacity or another. They could lead the departments of State (Biden), Labor (Edwards), Education (Obama), Chief of Staff (Clinton), VP (Richardson). McCain would be superb as Secretary of Defense. The nation is in desperate shape. We need all the talent we can get. It is time for a President who, like Lincoln, can incorporate his former opponents into his or her cabinet.

    The Republican candidates – McCain excepted – are not worth the electricity it would take to vote for them. It is obvious that if any of them occupied the White House, we would be in for four more years about like the last four. Romney excepted, none of them are particularly brilliant, and Romney's brains do not compensate for the fact that he is a corporate man to his soul. Enriching the upper class would be the only goal of his presidency. None of them propose anything particularly new – just more of the same. More outsourcing, more borrowing from our enemies China and Saudi Arabia, more "free" trade to undercut our own industries (what's left of them), more trade with China, more gridlock, more deterioration of the national infrastructure, more tax cuts for the top 20%, more $35 tax cuts for you and me, more bills written by lobbiests, more corruption ... four more years.

    January 21, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. Michiel

    I am still backing John Edwards, despite the "butt kicking" he received in Nevada. We have had 7 years of the republican dictator, his invasion into a foreign country that had not even threatened to attack us, the tremendous loss of jobs in this country, a downward spiraling economy. The Democratic party needs a candidate who can defeat the Republicans in every state of the union, so there can be no fudging of vote counts. This country needs a President who will fight for the majority of people (middle class & poor), not for the special interests and big corporations. If any one believes Obama or Clinton will unite this country, please think again. If anyone thinks Obama or Clinton will defeat the republican candidate in the general election, please think again. The media hype in this country is selecting our next candidate, with their slanted coverage. If the candidate coverage had been equal from the beginning, there would be more candidates in the running right now. Just listen to the news, any channel, and the only names you will hear the majority of the time are Clinton, Obama. I just heard a promo for the upcoming Black Caucus debate on CNN and those are the only two names mentioned. Please don't let the media decide our next candidate!

    January 21, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. roger, conway sc

    If Edwards & especially Elizabeth had reframed from going negative a few months back I do believe he would have stood a chance, but he & Obama started the negative crap & now Clinton is doing it because all the negative was going toward her & she is responding & doing the same. BUT initially Hillary was above the negative stuff & I do feel she had to go negative towards Edwards & Obama or be sunk...I personally do not like it from anyone of the candiates BUT it helped me make up my mind on who to vote for in the SC primary since Edwards & Obama started it I am supporting Clinton for this reason & her experience. I also don't want Obama to be the nominee or president because if he is we are going to hear about race card every other week because the black leadership will not let the past rest.

    January 21, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Surrealist, FT Myers, FL

    Want to hear some news:

    The conservatives in the Democratic party–desire Ewards economic policy and agenda against powerful special interests–because they feel he will not be biased in favor of liberal special interest groups.

    Something that Hillary and Obama have not alluded to–is they are only talking about the industry lobbyists–not the ones who traditionally lobby for liberal causes.

    Without Edwards on the top of the ticket for the Democrats–they will be losing a whole lot of conservative democrats and thousands of independents in the national election. Those folks will probably vote GOP regardless of who the candidate is. LIke me.

    January 21, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  13. Jimmy Baldwin (SC)

    Obama/Edwards '08!!

    January 21, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. David....Nevada

    Clinton is a real carpet bagger.. using edwards to pull what she can away from obama..I think she wants edwards to stay in the race for her own greed.
    say what ya may.. she is very shrewd and has the sales mentality of only a self taught southern woman selling carpet to northernr's. now she's peddeling votes of trust to southernr's using her reverse psycology .... kind of laughable

    January 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. Randolph Monroe, Chicago

    Hey, Edwards you can drop out of the race and support Obama now.

    January 21, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  16. olga, arizona

    As the Democratic party moves forward to the White House, I encourage both candidates to be mindful of how they play the political game. Senator Obama wants to be President and in doing so must have the courage to take on whatever comes from whereever it comes and continue to look at the future and what he can do. He has very limited experience to draw from so he will have to rely on others to help guide him. Senator Clinton also want to be President and has demonstrated through her actions that she has the courage to take on whatever comes. She will need all of her fortitude and experience to tackle the "many" who cannot yet see a woman in office. She will need to draw from her experience to make change happen. Both will make us proud. As a woman, I vote for Hillary and cheer on Obama.

    January 21, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Mike Janczy, Washington, DC

    Again, we must keep our eyes on the prize! John is the only one who can handily defeat any of the top tier Reps now. Barack should out after SC and support John. That would a winning ticket in the primaries and certainly in the general election.

    January 21, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Wizard of Oz

    Are any of you that blog on here payed to do so?How many of you on here are blogging on Company time?Heck with the haircut ,Id like to be his Barber, lol.So far I TRUST John Edwards more than I trust Hillary or Obama to get the job done and am an Independant, not a boot licking party loyalist.

    January 21, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Lev Klinemann, CA

    It's very sad, but its very true.

    January 21, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. Confused

    John...I am confused...is BILL running for president? No? Then why are you so pathetically obssessed with him and his past. Get over it and get a life. Hillary will the one running the show and can tap into Bills intelligence/experience/clverness for info at anytime. I dontthiink she'll start preying upon men in the Oval Office, so dont worry...she isnt Bill.

    January 21, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. Albo

    If Edwards thinks he took a butt whipping in Nevada, what will he say when loses South Carolina and ALL the states on Super Tuesday??? It's almost as if the DNC and Howard Dean are trying to keep him in the race in order to make the other 2 candidates seem like they're almost presidential! I mean even if a girl isn't that pretty, when you put a real ugly girl next to her, then she seems to be attractive...maybe not, but she's better than that real ugly one!!!

    January 21, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  22. Michiel

    Looking at the blogs, almost everyone is feeding into the media hype. Most of the blogging here is about Clinton and Obama, when the article above was about John Edwards. He is class personified. He doesn't make any lame excuse for the loss, doesn't even place blame, although rumors from some in Nevada say the casino owners told the rank and file, supposedly under threat of their jobs, not to vote for Edwards as he is too pro union. Be that as it may, John Edwards is the only one who will truly bring people together and work to provide equality to all Americans. Universal health care, jobs, ending the invasion and bringing home our troops, and restoring the US reputation with the rest of the world.

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

    John Edwards is the best man for the job. Educate yourself please. Pay no attention to the corporate media both denigrating and ignoring him.

    January 21, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Jon

    It is time we should start reading with facts and believing what we read or see in airways. One of the smartest women in America running for president of the free world didn’t pass her Washington D.C bar exams…‘re you kidding me? Am I so dumb and stupid to believe what I see or read …or is it an irony ….hmmm…

    January 21, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  25. Sarah J

    It's headlines like this one, and the NYTimes piece today, that continue to sabotage the Edwards campaign. He is a perfectly viable candidate, with the experience Obama lacks and the priorities that Hilary has lost sight of. Yet when he gets less than 10% of the mass media coverage (i.e. free advertising) and Obama and Hilary each get 30% or more, of course real voters start to doubt his ability to gain the nomination.

    January 21, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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