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. D Schulte

    John Edwards is right. But I believe he'll need to tie together the most important concern on American's minds – the state of the economy – with what seems to be a major theme for his campaign, which is the influence of special interests and lobbyists financing campaigns and controlling the policy of this country to such an extent that the best interests of individual Americans cannot be attained. It may be difficult to tie them together in a 10-second sound bite but I hope he can do it because this isn't a class-warfare, but it certainly is economic warfare and the majority of Americans are losing.

    January 20, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  2. Dan, TX

    I agree with Phil. I will vote for Obama first, then McCain. I would never vote for Clinton.

    I would suggest an Obama/McCain or McCain/Obama ticket. Unstoppable.

    January 20, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Bobby- Arlington VA

    It's time to give it up John, and let the big boys, (well, boy and girl), duke it out.

    January 20, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Bill

    The Nevada primary means nothing. There's only 2.5 million people in the entire state! Seattle has twice as many people. Watching the news you'd think there are only 2 democrats running. Problem is, neither of them can win in Nov.

    January 20, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. beebop

    Edwards dealt himself out. If he wanted to differentiate himself, then he needed to look different from column A AND column B. He was too busy being the anti-Hillary and giving Obama (just as the media does) a pass. He simply doesn't understand that this is not his time - his time may have come or it may never arrive. Looking back history will show the difference. But it's 4 years later and he's still a VP candidate. For those of you who remember what he did for the John Kerry campaign .... may I remind you that it was BUPKIS? What you are referring to when you speak of attracting some of the otherwise Hillary voters is the 5 ton elephant in the room .... and the one that only the Clintons are chastised for playing to.

    January 20, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. jimbob

    The only democratic presidents to be elected since JFK have been white men from the south (LBJ, Carter, Clinton). That's a fact. The question for democrats should be, do you think that the southern and midwestern states will elect a woman or an african-american candidate no matter how good they are? If you don't believe that they will, then a republican will win the presidency. Is america free of predujice yet? If not, Edwards – a white man from the south – is your best bet.


    January 20, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. AJ, IL

    Phil of Memphis, TN...Sure Obama and Clinton has vastly out raised Edwards, but Obama has more grassroots support. Obama is raising alot of money from a lot of donors, people giving anywhere from $25 to $2300 per person. Obama has the most small donors of any candidates, Democrat or Republican. In fact he has more donors than Hillary and Edwards combined.

    Phil, if you think $55 million is a "trickle-down the leg", you must be a millionaire already.

    January 20, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. Ready for change in VA

    Xtina: If I had money to invest in companies, I would consider it, but unfortunately, I was not born wealthy. And, being a teacher, I have just enough to get by. If you knew how many people fought and died in union wars for luxeries like health insurance and safe working conditions, maybe you would see why big business is the enemy. I don't trust anything or anyone that profits off of others' misfortunes.

    January 20, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. Barb

    The truth is that people vote for the "familiar" and the media knows that. It's the reason we are constantly barraged with Clinton & Obama, McCain, Romney & Guiliani (even when he isn't campaigning anywhere but Florida). We hear very little of what John Edwards says despite the fact that he is out talking with voters and making speeches every single day. But you wouldn't think so with the coverage he gets. Why? Because he does not take money from lobbyists. He is not representing Big Business. And television is owned by Big Business.....huge corporations! In fact, John Edwards is making sure he owes nothing to Big Business and can truly stand up for the little guy. Why don't we realize that?

    In the end, we will have a Clinton and McCain ticket and nothing will have changed in this country. Remember, Bill Clinton signed NAFTA; and those "free trade agreements" were the beginning of the loss of American jobs....and the American middle class. He gave Big Business what they wanted and since then our government has failed our people because of the unfairness of the trade deals they have made with other countries. And, those agreements actually FAVOR our industries leaving this country in order to make larger profits at the expense of American jobs. Then we wonder why people can't pay their mortgages, pay their heating bills, pay their credit card bills, buy food, and continue to spend money.
    So, we're going to cut more taxes and the middle class worker is going to get a $800 rebate. That isn't even one mortgage payment! And no one is saying what kind of tax rebate the big shots will get!!!
    We need a permanent stimulus package. WE NEED THOSE JOBS that have been lost, not a one time "shot in the arm"!!!! We need someone in the White House who will fight for US.....not the big shots who will use the money to create more cheap labor jobs in foreign countries!
    And our other choice, John McCain. Right now he seems like a George Bush clone. All I see with McCain is an endless war in one country or another in the Middle East....after all, getting all the terrorists is like stomping out ants....they're everywhere! Perhaps we should forget the iron fist and start leading by example! Oh yes, with McCain we will get tax cuts. How does he propose to pay for this trillion dollar war....by doing away with Social Security? Heaven knows we can't raise the $90,000 ceiling on the Social Security tax! Or, maybe we could eliminate Medicare? Don't let anyone tell you Republicans don't believe in evolution. This is "survival of the fittest" in it's extreme!
    Does anyone know of a good candidate?

    January 20, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. jimbob

    Prejudice, not predujice!

    January 20, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    So does that mean John Edwards won't be included in your Monday debate CNN as you have unfairly excluded my candidate Dennis Kucinich for getting 4%?

    I am begging you to please include Dennis Kucinich in your debate on Monday. I know you're corporate and wouldn't like to see the American people take back their country, but please think of your children and their children and realize that we deserve PEACE and healthcare and all the other things Kucinich, and Kucinich alone, would do for us and stop trying to rig the election. Whatever polls he is polling low at is directly related to who gets to hear his message. Dennis Kucinich won the IndependentPrimary.com poll (with 67.7% of the vote!), he won the Progressive Democrats poll, he won the Democracy for America poll, he came in first in the magazine The Nation's poll, he won the poll sponsored by the Democratic Party of Virginia, he won the Washington State Democratic Party Straw Poll, and he came in a close second in the California Straw Poll. By not including him, you are enraging a lot of your audience, and I hope you would care about that, even if you don't care that much about America's well-being. Thanks for your time, and hopefully your reconsideration.

    January 20, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  12. ken Kennedy

    If all Americans were truly interested in politics, they would keep abreast of what is happening all the time, not just when elections are around the corner. No one hasmore blame for today's problems than the American voters who only want to get involved when they feel like it.. It Is time for all Ameericans to really get involved. Upon serious sudy, a lot would find John Edwaards a fine candidate and his idea of keeping out lobbyists is one oi the best offered. Ken K retired teacher

    January 20, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Chris from Houston

    Oh. My god. I watch CNN everyday and all I see is Hilliary or Bill and sometimes Edwards. Where is your coverage of Obama. I see nothing. Is the media so slanted in its coverage. I can watch all day on an off day and never see anything about Obama unless it is in reference to something negative. Where is the fair reporting in that. CNN just lost my support. Obama is the answer to our dysfunctional polital system. 4 year of Bush Sr., 8 yrs of Clinton, 8 yrs of Bush Jr. now more Clinton. What the hell. Two families running the US for Twenty years. CNN, I'm sorry but you guys are full of crap. Obama is at the chruch where Dr. King once spoke and you show coverage of Hillary a thousand miles away in Harlem.

    January 20, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Juro, Holly, MI

    It's time to consolidate, guys. Super Tuesday is only a couple of weeks away, and that is barely enough time to things to sink in with the voting public.

    That means Thompson and Gulianni had better look into available VP positions with Romney and McCain, quickly. Hucklebee, need not apply, God is with you lol.

    January 20, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. AJ, IL

    Edwards is an o.k. guy, but doesn't have the grassroots support. He is a one-term senator from North Carolina who is known for a lot of bad votes on major national issues that have already haunted him in June 2007 and can be brought again in a 2008 general election. Many of those bad votes he apologized for and will only apologize for again which will make him seen as a candidate with poor judgement.

    January 20, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Mike

    Oh My God – Xtina – Thank You

    Iam so sick of hearing about the "terrible big corporations" Wait don't most of us work at these corporations?!? Wait aren't the activites of these corporations what makes up our economy?!? Wait if these coroporations flourish doesn't our economoy flourish?!?!

    Someone please tell me if I am incorrect

    January 20, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. gus payne

    It is time for the news media to regard Edwards in the same way it does Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich after his lack of performance in Nevada. Continuing to pretend he is someone important in this race is wasting valuable minutes of TV coverage.

    January 20, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. Rita Morgan-Robinson

    Democrats look at the state in the general election Neither Obama or Hillary can win Ohio. As a democrat for 40 years I and my husband will not vote for neither. I will vote for Bloomberg or McCain. I am a voter both must have to win in Ohio. The media has made this into a contest of white vs black, young vs old, women vs men. A plague on both their houses. The only one who has not generated this into a media fight is John Edwards. Therefore, I will not work for the Democratic party as I have in the past. I am seriously thinking of becoming an Independent. Corporate Republicans and corporate Democrats have taken over this country and we are looking at very serious problems. No one has discussed the mortgage insurance industry going belly up. Remember, PMI rates. Foreclosures will destroy America. As usual Democrats nominate candidates that can't win in the general. This will be the results of the next election. We nominate the most inexperienced in the election. Change any one knows that the only way to change anything is to vote out all incumbents in Congress. Where is the backbone of the Democrats I hate to say it. They don't have one. Hope I see on the horizons is depressing and wishing for change doesn't get it Obama you have to have policies not rhetoric. Hillary another corporate democrat. No wonder I am depressed.

    January 20, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Lucy

    So many people say they cannot support Hillary, but if you compare the three top candidates for the Democratic Party, there isn't much difference. I cannot understand why she is treated with such venom. For my part, as a democrat, I cannot even imagine voting for a republican especially after what they've done to this country for the past 7 years. I will support whoever gets the nomination in the democratic party and will do so proudly. Anyone who refuses to vote for Hillary if she gets the nomination is in essence approving of the last 7 years of republican mismanagement. I cannot forgive or forget so easily. I refuse to rubberstamp the Bush/Cheney way of doing things. Go Hillary . . . Obama . . . Edwards!

    January 20, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  20. imbroketoo

    Don't feel too bad most folks that go to Vegas get their butt's kicked.

    January 20, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Rick, El Paso, Texas

    Mr. Edwards. Please face the reality of the situation for you in this race and give your total support to Mr. Obama. America is ready for a Democrat as President and we can not afford to have Mrs. Clinton in the Whitehouse. Imagine the situation: Our President Hillary Clinton will be sleeping with the former President, a man who dishonored himself in the White House and in the end caused tremendous harm to the credibility of this country. Bush has harmed the US more than any other President. This country and the world are not ready for a Clinton/Clinton/?VicePresident White House.

    January 20, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Greg

    The conventional wisdom that Edwards is taking votes from Obama is false he is actually taking support from Hillary and as far as I am concerned the media has definitely put McCain in the white house by not creating any semblance of a policy debate in these primaries and instead creating "History making" candidates is better for ratings.

    January 20, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. jason twombley

    ya know mr 400 dollar haircut edwards....WE THE PEOPLE...just cant come up to your spending levels, thank GOD you dont have the chance to be president and spend us Americans into the poorhouse...go please your rich friends, you certainly dont please us !

    January 20, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    This democratic race should be between Edwards and Obama. The very fact that Hillary is in the running, let alone doing well, is a tribute to American stupidity.

    January 20, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Phil Memphis, TN

    AJ, I do understand your point about grass roots, and calling the 55 mil what I did was as a comparison to the other candidates (and we didn;t even touch on the Republicans). I just can not find anything Obama has done that tells me he is more qualified than either of the other 2 candidates. Every time I ask I get pointed to speeches (the Dem convention, etc.) Speeches are great, but I need to see more. One way or the other, my vote will be intended to ensure no Republican is still holding the office in 2009.

    For those who say they are Dems or independent but would vote Republican before voting for Clinton it appears you are willing to cut off your nose to spite your face.

    You are willing to continue to watch our young men die in a war a criminal Republican administration lied us into, continue to see our financial stability squandered, continue to allow the government to ignore the constitution, allow them to continue to widen their tracking and spying on american citizens; all because you have this deep-seated hatred of Hillary.. for what?

    If you are a democrat or independent I'm a right wing religious zealot.

    I don;t think there are many Dems out ther who really think that way. you guys must be Republican plants.

    January 20, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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