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. tlnacarthur

    Also: let the record show that Dennis Kucinich is the only card-carrying union member running for President. He's IATSE. He's pro-labor. Go Dennis!

    January 20, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Boom!

    Wow! I see the war with the Democratic party has begun. I wonder if Obama will stop will try some chitterlin's while he's in Atlanta today?

    January 20, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  3. Coleman R. Brice, Asbury Park, NJ

    I didn't like this guy at first.. I was turned off by the expensive haircuts and the fact that he stayed in the race when it was discovered that his wife had cancer.. But lately his grace and humility is turning me around. I'm a Kucinich guy, but I'm also pragmatic.. I'm rooting for an Obama/Edwards ticket and a cabinet level position for Dennis – let him start this Dept. of Peace he wants. Let's give PEACE A CHANCE!

    January 20, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. Speak up

    Kay, what arrogance. After 3 races, Obama losing the last 2, why would Edwards drop out of the Election and support him?

    I have a better idea. Why doesn't Obama drop out, so we can first, stop hurting the party he is creating this divisiveness for with an upcoming General. And, people won't have to worry about choosing between the lesser of two evils, the Corporate Front Runner candidates, and the REAL Peoples candidate, the Populist.

    Besides, he's show to have the best numbers against the Republicans. If you care about the whole picture, Obama supporters will rally to Edwards to really move forward for America and the World.

    Health Care for ALL(unlike Obama)
    ALL combat troops out of Iraq, within 10 months (unlike Obama and Clinton)
    Not beholden and votes given to Corporate Donors (unlike Obama and Clinton)
    Stopping Nuclear Plants (unlike Obama)
    Stopping Coal Fired Plants, until we can sequester(Unlike Obama)
    No Predator Lending (Unlike Obama who would vote to limit interests to a max 30 pct)

    REALLY, doesn't it make sense to support.,
    John Edwards for America!

    January 20, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    As a Obama supporter, I do admire much about John Edwards. I would vote for him in the unlikely case that he wins the nomination, but cannot support Clinton.

    January 20, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  6. Jenny, Paxton, MA


    class as a concept is not the same as majority. if 50.1% of the poeple were the havenots and 49.9% were the haves, it would be pretty nice, actually. but it's more like 1% of population having 80% of capital (may not be exact, but you get the idea), in reality, and getting worse by the minute.

    class is not about whether you make more than 50.000 annually either. it involves how you make it, more than how much.

    sounds all too alien, eh?

    January 20, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Mike R.

    John please do not ever drop out ,You are the only hope the dems have in the general election.Take it all the way and they will make some mistakes that will help along the way.I wouldn't rule out a third party run.

    January 20, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. AJ, IL

    Unfortunately, many Edwards supporters base there support on Edwards for the wrong reasons. How can Edwards be the candidate of change when he ran for Democratic nomination for President and US VP in 2004? The Edwards supporters like the stories of Edwards being the son of a poor mill worker and etc., and that he wants to help the poor of America. At the Nevada debate what did he say his biggest weakness is "too passionate about helping the poor"? Wow! Talk about authencity going down the drain. First and foremost, Edwards is the second richest candidate in the race of all Democratic and Republican candidates with a net worth of $55 million. Edwards is running on the essentially the same platform in 2004, "Two Americas: One for the haves and one for the have nots. One for the rich and one for the poor." Which America does Edwards live in? He is one of the haves and rich in America and has been that way for years.

    How will Edwards help the poor when arguably didn't do enough as a Senator? How can he create a working majority for change when he projects himself as angry and anti-corporation? Take a look at his senatorial record to see that John has flip-flopped on a lot of important national issues that he voted for. Saying I'm sorry over and over again for his votes only tells me that he has poor judgement.

    Edwards's support has been slipping state-by-state as the caucauses and primaries unfold. Edwards's presence in the race only helps Hillary secure victories. He should drop out.

    OBAMA in 08!

    January 20, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Ed L

    about time for Edwards to drop out and throw his support to Obama... together they can block Hillary.... we cannot have a BUSH CLINTON CLINTON BUSH BUSH CLINTON CLINTON.... BUSH? coalition dynasty in this country... we need CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!


    January 20, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  10. vi

    Go HIllary!!! However I think that Edwards should drop out because his wife has cancer.

    January 20, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. ronnie - knoxville, tn.

    john edwards will never be more than a second-rate politician in a $400 haircut. He will never be president

    January 20, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Jose Card - Independent

    I wonder why Edwards did not benefit from the racial fights started by Hillary against Obama.

    It may be time for him to endorse Obama.

    January 20, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Mike R.

    John edwards is the only dem that doesn't change what he say's and always tells the truth good or bad.

    January 20, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Hillary 08

    I really feel bad for John Edwards...he tried so hard....and in the end his buddy Obama stole his union leaders away from him...see John...you should not have been mean to Hillary....Obama will NOT cover your back!!!....Go home and take care of Elizabeth..haven't seen her for awhile...worried that the stress of this losing battle of yours has turned into a losing battle for Elizabeth....sad..but true I fear.....

    January 20, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. dan shore

    DAN, NC

    January 20, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. xtina - chicago IL

    John Edwards fails to be a leader because his message is not, "Hey, we live in the best country in the world – let's teach our children to be productive, no matter which income bracket they're in...". No, his message is that people without money are victims and he plans to take more taxes from those who are productive and hard-working and give it to those who are not working hard. He just isn't inspiring. He's a slip and fall lawyer, so he looks for the money and goes after it. ln the case of his Presidential bid, he simply thinks taxing profitable companies instead of showing unprofitable companies how to be more productive is the way to go. Even though he worked hard personally, he's a socialist and he believes that government gains more power the more people it takes under its wing. He might be a good family guy, but he has disdain for free enterprise, and that's not good.

    January 20, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Phil Memphis, TN

    Go Edwards? all the Obama supporters begging him to drop out and support obama. Why would Edwards drop out when he is the one who has both the passion, AND some real ideas (and yes, I have been to the Obama website and read his "plan for change"). i like Obama but he lacks depth and substance. I like Clinton, she is by far the most knowledgeable, but she does seem to inspire hatred from many, for reasons I still don't quite udnerstand (other than the GOP who hates her husband). Edwards is the best Democratic candidate and if we don't wake up and see that we could be in trouble in November.

    January 20, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Sam

    Edwards did ABSOLUTELY nothing for the state of North Carolina while he was our senator...so wh would anyone elect him President?

    January 20, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. Mae

    I don't know why some of the Edwards supporters are slamming Barack Obama! It is not Barack's (or Hillary's, for that matter), fault that Edwards is doing as poorly as he is. I agree with Paul. Edward's message of attack the other side and corporations is just not resonating with the Democratic electorate. The Democratic electorate is tired of all of the bickering and fighting. They want people who see the value in sitting down at the table with your foes and developing solutions, as best as you can.

    Also, I agree with some that say that if Edwards does not win in South Carolina (which is his birth state, is right next door to his home state of North Carolina, and is the state that he won in 2004), so if he can't win in SC, then I don't see where he could possibly win on Feb. 5. I just don't see it.

    He has been a good candidate though. And, he has not been as nasty towards Barack as the Clinton's (and camp) have been. And, I personally thank John Edwards for that. I think that he would be a good VP for Barack, or maybe Attorney General in the cabinet. But, I think that John's major problem this time is just that he is a re-run candidate from 2004. And, the Dems just don't take as well to re-run candidates as they do to first-time candidates, such as Hillary and Barack. The Dems do give a person a second chance though. But, I just think that Edwards needed to win in Iowa. They are only willing to give you a second chance these days, if you win the first contest of Iowa. And, he came in a distant second in that state, after spending about 5 years there campaigning.

    Edwards is a good guy, and it kind of breaks my heart that he just never did take off the way that John Kerry did last time or that Barack and Hillary has this time.

    January 20, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. mr perfect

    ron paul would have enforced edwards if it would not have been for that 4000.00 haircut job. I think that jonnie still can't make the break from the upper crust to real life. his message seems hollow. HOW MANY PEOPLE CAN AFFORD A 4000.00 HAIRCUT ? I REST MY CASE

    January 20, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Phil Memphis, TN

    AJ, Edwards 55 million (even if he spent it all, which he isn't) is a trickle down the leg compared to the lobbyist and other $$$ Clinton and Obama are raising. they are spending way more than Edwards is. Again, I like Obama, but he and his supporters are all in dreamland. Ask the same questions about Obama that you just asked about Edwards.

    As an Illinois native, I am prety familiar with the dire situation in many parts of your state. what has Obama done to change it?

    January 20, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. Mike R.

    dan shore, I agree!

    January 20, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. LJ, PA

    We need Edwards to stay in the race. People should stop trying to be political strategists and instead they should vote for who they think is the best candidate. The media (big corporations) under the excuse of covering the front-runners is being unfair by not covering other candidate's campaigns. Rudy Giulani is still covered but not Ron Paul or John Edwards or Kucinich? Edwards, we are with you till the end. Keep going!!!! We need you!!!!

    January 20, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. LDP

    Oh please, you want to claim Edwards couldn't possibly provide change, because he was the VP running mate for Kerry.....yet, your guy (because Edwards didn't ask him) was endorsed by Kerry. LOL

    Edwards HAS NEVER taken Lobbyist money. Unlike Obama who has found it convenient to do that for this election only.

    ...OH, breaking news, Obama's going to try to finally distance himself from his longtime friend and money bundler, indicted Rezko, by donating 40K to Charity that he's received from his Pal. What do you think he'll do with his house that he bought from and next door to Rezko?

    ...ok, NOW, let's deal with reality, OK? Edwards walks the talk from predatory lending to Global Warming. He will offer HEalth car for ALL, not some health insurance for some.

    You know what, I'm not going to go through a forever list for Edwards record and Policy, it's too long, but take my word. he's the Peoples candidate and has no place being compared to your Obama.

    Senator Obama's short 2 years in the Senate, after campaigning for his US Senate Seat, voted to keep the war going, not even supporting Senator Feingolds Bill to end our occupation.

    In this time period, after campaigning against the Patriot Act, Senator Obama managed to vote for Patriot Act 2, the Reauthorization.

    Senator Obama also is for Free Trade and supported adding Peru to the Free Trade agreement.

    Senator Obama also did not support the citizens over Financial institutions, when Bankruptcy amendment to cap interest rate to a maximum 30 percent, he did not vote to support that.

    He also supported Cheneys 2005 Oil Industry and Nuke Plant loaded Energy Bill, even though he said he only supports Nuclear plants if we find a way to store the waste.

    Senat Obama also pushed the Lobbyist backed Liquified Coal Bill, for a 2nd time, even though it would have added so much CO2 to the environment, it would have been like replacing every car with a Hummer, and use our tax dollars to fund it.

    ...that's just a sample in his short 2 years.

    AND NOW he wants to bring us back to the start of the NeoCons with Reaganomics, busting unions, decling social programs, largest deficit, increased poverty with wealth at the top. GEE THANKS OBAMA, now you decide to look at the past and that's what you've chosen for America? NO THANKS

    January 20, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  25. Phil

    It's unfortunate for Edwards. He needs to have a win in SC but I don't think that will happen. Top it off he will probably run out of money soon. (You must understand the amount of money it takes to run an effective state campaign. ) Hopefully he will endorse Obama.

    I'm always confused over the comments about Obama and money or Obama trying to supress the vote.

    Obama is the ' poor ' candidate (as is Huckabee). All of the other candidates are worth tens of millions of dollars.

    (Obama's net worth is about 1.1 million, Edwards ~ 30 Million, Hillary between 10 – 50 million). Obama is a normal working man with family just like you and me, he just happened to be able to write and have a second income from his books...just like Huckabee.

    Who do you think is well connected to the Washington establishment?

    Oh, and Bill and Hillary had supporters who were behind the lawsuit that would have kept all of those strip caucuses from participating! If that's not vote suppression...your high.

    If Obama doesn't win, I will gladly vote for McCain to defeat her in the general election.

    January 20, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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