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. Harvey, Tampa, FL

    If the media (could I be talking about CNN here?) decides not to cover certain candidates, they're done. The candidates that the media favors are constantly in the headlines, and the ones they don't favor are relegated to page 16. Who reads page 16?

    If you don't think the media controls / rigs election, you're a fool.

    January 20, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. patsy cincotta

    The media have ignored John Edwards ever since Iowa. All they focus on is the fight between Obama and Clinton. Maybe if people heard John's message and saw his face more often they would wake up to the fact that he is the one who has been talking about CHANGE from day one! All of his ideas were taken up by Hillary and Barack who pretend they belong to them. Every cable news channel shows them campaigning at least 10 times a day and we have to look for Edwards on C-Span.

    January 20, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  3. Thomas

    I keep being amazed that more people would vote for Hillary Clinton.

    But then people re-selected George Bush in 2004.

    What will it take for America to finally learn its lesson?

    January 20, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. Lucy Trachy

    What's wrong with America, has everyone gone blind???? Being a Canadian, I can only stand beside the fishbowl and look at the fish swimmining inside. John Edwards is the best choice for president. His honesty is genuine. He has never forgotten where he came from, that's the key to his successes. I have to admire him also for having to be there for his wife during her illness and the heartbreak of losing a child. What other person on the campaign trail can beat that, with the exception of John McCain???

    January 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  5. spdubois

    James D. I would have to disagree with you - Hillary Clinton has a lot of class. Lets not be rude here, she's done nothing to you. Any one of these candiate who take a beating day after day in the press, in debates and from all of us - they have class. More than you and I - so lets give them all some credit.

    John, I doubt you'll win - however, I hope the next President has you on their team in some capacity. I don't doubt your heart. Good luck !!

    January 20, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. Kevin, Seattle

    The longer he stays in, the easier it gets for Clinton. Back to "the mill" John! Get out, endorse Obama, and save a little grace.

    January 20, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. baseman

    The world isnt ready for another clinton and the U.S. isnt ready for a mulim to lead this country. Heck He wont even stand on stage and pledge allegience to our flag so I sure dont want him running my country. Obama go home they need in iraq or whereever you have your hidden agenda.

    January 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  8. Andie X.

    I'm behind you Sir. If anyone has been on the same Democratic platform telling us how he would solve our common problems as a nation is the Hon. Mr Edwards. His message has been resonating for the past four plus years on a national ballot. Don't let the political machine that Edwards talks about manipulate you in a media driven tsunami to the ticket.

    January 20, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  9. John

    I just voted for John E. in Florida. Though he is an extreme long shot, he provides a needed anti-corporate voice. In the vicious circle of money-media-politics it is probably impossible for a politician without the support of the corporations to break in.

    January 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Bill

    Paul, Edwards is not trying to convince 50.1% to attack 49.99% of Americans. He is trying to convince the great middle class and lower middle class to stand up and fight for their proper share of what they have worked for. In this country now it is the super rich against everyone else - the super rich mogels and the super rich corporations - and the common worker and tradesman and small entrepreneur be damened. He is in fact telling 99% of American to fight the super rich 1% and demand their fair share of profits, perks and power. You are right, it is a class warfare. And so often it is the demeaned "trial lawyer" that is the only person who is there for folks who have hit hard times or been treated unfairly and have no where else to turn. THAT"s John Edwards, he's proud of putting his wits and steel on the line in court, because in doing that he helped people who were up against major corporations - and that is what is wrong with America today, it is run for and by corporations and not for and by the people. (FYI, I am still an undecided voter, but I see Edwards' strengths in what I have written.)

    I also agree with other posters who say that the media is treating Hillary and Obama like darlings and pretty much ignoring the platforms of the other candidates, so in effect it is another big corporation - the media - stealing power from the people.

    January 20, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Carol Elkins

    He has a flawed sense of reality.

    How can he possibly think he can suddenly up and win
    over either Hillary or Obama? Let him have the grace
    to admit it,

    January 20, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. Jason

    It's funny that a few months ago when Edwards was leading in Iowa but tanking in national polls, he was saying the rest of the country doesn't matter, only Iowa matters. And now that he's losing the early states hes saying exactly the opposite. What a wonderful flip flop.

    January 20, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Molly

    John Edwards is RIGHT – you can't "nice" people to the table –especially the billionaire Big Corporate types. They don't care about us, and the only way we're going to reign in their power is by electing someone willing to stand up to them AND the Big Corporate Media that keeps telling us lies. So, stop kidding yourselves – its not convincing 50.01% that he can lead "them"...its convincing 99% of Americans that the other 1% are KILLING US slowly, and that its time to stop listening to the lies of Big Corporate Media and start taking a real look at what's going on.

    January 20, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. ammeh

    "What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" Is an advertising campaign slogan the city came up with a few years ago so it could have a catchphrase that was easy to remember. it is hardly "old"

    January 20, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Joyce Smallwood, Stanton, Ky.

    I WILL SUPPORT THE DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE...BUT I WISH IT WOULD BE EDWARDS. I think he best represents what people like me needs...an advocate. I think someone will have to be tough with the lobbyist and insiders if we are to see any change in Washington. Edwards is honest and experienced..we need both. I want change in Washington..but remember change can be for better or worse....Edwards brings the ideas I endorse. Go John and Elizabeth!!

    January 20, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  16. Isabel

    I think the reason Edwards is losing is because HE is the ONLY one that will and can help the lower Middleclass and the poor!
    I never realized how many people are very well off financially and of course they do not want Edwards to stop Big Corporations from helping the Middleclass.
    Many people have stocks and feel Edwards being President will not help those stocks. BUT, many people do not have stocks and if they do, they should vote for Edwards.
    He is too good in his ideas and WILL bring economy and Medical Insurance for ALL but the wealthy or near wealthy. And that is the problem.
    People see the polls and hold back in voting for Edwards as they do not want to have their vote thrown away.

    January 20, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Christian, Tampa FL

    Edwards should really drop out and endorse Obama. There's no other way for Hillary to be beaten for the nomination. As long as the "anyone but Hillary" or "change" vote is divided, neither can win.

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

    lol, now that is funny......

    January 20, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Isabel

    I forgot to add, John Edwards if you do not win, Please endorse Hillary Clinton because she is the NEXT BEST after you.
    And if you are asked to be Vice President....TAKE IT as we NEED YOU!
    Let's hope you win...smile

    January 20, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. JB

    Voters will make the decision for Edwards; his plan to "take it to the convention" sounds a lot like his empty 2004 pledge to fight for every Ohio vote. After a S.Carolina defeat, expect his supporters to jump ship big time. What does it say about his candidacy that he may finish 3rd in his home state (and the Kerry/Edwards lost both Carolinas)? Embarrassing.

    January 20, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Emily

    John is stealing others message that is why he keep loosing. But I really like him.
    I am Obama supporter though!

    January 20, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  22. Geri

    Ed from New York said it all and I totally agree with him. I would vote for anyone but Obama who seems to think he's the fair haired boy but his dirty politics is starting to show through. I hope Edwards doesn't align himself with Obama because in the end he will be sorry.

    January 20, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Confused

    Edwards who?

    January 20, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. douglas jones

    Let us vote for a better state of things,let us vote for a better justice system,economic growth and higher moral standards.

    January 20, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. For The People

    Carol's message is spot on! The corporate media has quietly stopped covering John Edwards. Aaaaand it was rather conspicuously timed with the announcement by the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that they were going to put a TON of money into defeating candidates who point out how Big Business is screwing the hard working people of this country with CEO bonuses, reduction in health insurance and sending their jobs overseas to third-world countries with no thought about product liability or quality assurance. Working class people who vote for anyone other than John Edwards should understand that they are, literally, giving Big Business control of the government that was designed to be of THE PEOPLE, for THE PEOPLE and ***BY*** THE PEOPLE.

    Don't give up the fight, John.

    January 20, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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