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. Jenny, Paxton, MA

    Pam Holt of LA CA;

    thanks for the info (below):

    "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."

    great to know. Let's spread the truth everywhere. forget CNN: they are the spinsters for the axis of evil.

    Dennis Kucinich for President !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 20, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Mae






    January 20, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Mart from Chicago

    Hahaha... it is so funny how pro-Obama are sooooo keen for Edwards to drop out and endorse Obama... And yet you all say Obama will surely win this nomination, but I guess you guys mean Obama will surely win if Edwards supporters vote for Obama... But at least Edwards is humble enough to say he is defeated in Nevada... (Dont explain to me about the national delegates again, coz i know Obama is probably getting more... but that wont be decided until April, so claiming victory now and not look at the popular votes tells me that Obama thinks the vote dont matter, as long as he get more delegates....good for him tho.).

    But i have to say this, I always thought Edwards always backed Obama coz he is desperate to be VP so badly... but after Nevada, when he attacked Obama about the spanish ad & Obama's view of Reagan, and then concede defeat so openly, I have to give it to him, he's not a bad bloke with a good heart...

    And to those Clinton-haters who always say not Hillary no matter what, I just hope she wins and nominate Obama as her VP, or Obama wins and nominate Hillary as his VP... then maybe you wont hate her that much and start to see that she is not as bad as you might think she is.. and FYI, i would vote for independent as well if Obama wins the nomination... Go Hillary!!!!

    January 20, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Greg

    Mike your wrong. Corporate profits have doubled in the last 8 years has everyone elses income double in the last 8 years? be honest even the bush government hasn't found a way to produce that statistic.

    January 20, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Mike, the corporations are doing well by outsourcing our jobs adn keeping wages stagnat while CEO's make millions. In 1980 the top 1% owned 8% o the wealth in the US, now the top 1% owns 20%.

    January 20, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Annie

    I'm with Phil and Dan, TX. I might vote Republican if it's McCain/Clinton. If Edwards truly wants change for this country, he'd accept that it's not his year and get behind Obama to put an end to the Bush-Clinton years. He's a good man with a lot to offer, but right now he's helping the Clinton machine.

    OBAMA/EDWARDS 2008!!

    January 20, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  7. Bob, Florida - RFO

    I expect John Edwards to stay in the race as long as he can continue to bank roll the journey.

    During the NBC's Meet The Press on Sunday Tom Brokaw stated that he has questions concerning the Clinton's character. Certainly nothing new!

    Go Barack '08

    January 20, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  8. Marco

    I have a good feeling about SC. Please, people, can't you see the integrity that Obama carries with him vs. Hillary? Hillary is as corrupt as it gets. Edwards supporters. I'm sorry...he's a good man, but he won't win. Your votes are cutting into Obama's, which could allow her to win. Please, do the right thing.

    By the way, these are really hip Obama shirts! Wear your vote! Inspire others.

    January 20, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  9. xtina - chicago IL

    Instead of having disdain for successful people, why don't you wake up in the morning, roll up your sleeves, find what your marketable skill is, work at your passion and try to do what rich people have done to succeed !

    January 20, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  10. Mae


    I think that you just want a white male from the south, because you secretly don't agree with the idea of a woman or a black person being President.

    Now, isn't that true?

    By the way, which southern state are you from?

    January 20, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. Tom Davie

    Edwards is unfortunate to be stuck between the Charsima of Obama and the Two term president Billary.

    Unless he came up with some radical message that captured the nation, he is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    News media is not giving him much hype because he hasnt given anyone a reason to think he could beat them.

    He came in second in Iowa, and he got some air play , but this was overshadowed by the END OF THE CLINTON ERA . Hillary was about to fall off the cliff, and this was a form of historic news.

    I believe the NH emotional breakdown is going to go down in history as the turning point that put her in the whitehouse.

    Clinton was down and OUT. No democratic candidate has even lost Iowa and NH and gone on to win. Ever.

    Its would be the same as Obama LOSING south carolina at this point , then somehow WINNING super tuesday.

    January 20, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. Ann

    I am a Hillary supporter, but do not like what is happening in the Democratic race with double standards applied to candidates. Obama receives a free ride, is allowed to play the race card any time he needs which is used against others when is not convenient for him. I don't know exactly what is happening, whose interest he serves (don't tell me big words that he represents the American people because it sounds too communist for me to accept it), but he diverted the whole debate in this campaign to 'ideals' and 'movements' instead of issues important for choosing the President of the United States.

    Biden, Richardson, Dodd, and now Edwards have been victims. I still hope Edwards will resist more in the race because he has a real message. Hillary too, has a clear message for bringing back prosperity and dignity to Americans. Sorry, I resent the talk on unity and change promoted by Obama. His notions are not causes but should be effects when real problems sre solved and the country is back on the right economic track. I am really afraid that the black people and young people who don't know enough history, and those Republicans and Independents' votes who may be just strategic, will bring Obama to nomination.

    I have to admit that I started to listen to what Republican candidates say. Some of them are not bad at all... and they discuss issues not throwing just propagandistic words.

    January 20, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  13. someone from iowa

    i am so sick of hearing about the haircut...have any of you stopped to think how much Billary pays for a haircut, not to mention the fact that if keep reviewing pictures of her...someone is having some Botox done! But we don't talk about that.

    Edwards has had the same message every time I have seen him. His ideas are awesome and I agree...there is too much history in this race and that is all anyone is paying attention to.

    It's a shame he has to be up against them at the same time!

    EDWARDS '08


    January 20, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. Becky Montgomery

    I think if he truly wants what is best for the country, he would drop out and support Obama, whose message is closer to his than Clinton's.

    If he is in it for ego's sake, he will stay in and make it easier for Hillary in the process.

    It is now time for change–he needs to change from candidate to supporter. A true patriot would know that and act accordingly.

    January 20, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Mark, Atlanta, GA

    Too bad democrats are too GD stupid to realize Edwards is the only candidate who will bring about real change. I'm also pretty excited about Obama, but Hillary Clinton? Good god, does it get anymore disingenuous? You can pretty much count on wasting taxpayer $ in Iraq forever with her.

    January 20, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Sam

    Why are so many of you buying into the media craze for Hillary and Barack? I say let them beat each other up in the primaries and caucuses. If they keep winning every other primary, then maybe, just maybe, we will have an old fashioned brokered convention. If no one has enough delegates for the nomination, we could get the best candidate, John Edwards.
    So, John, please hang in there and fight. We need someone that will fight to get this country back on the right track. Hillary has too much baggage (PAC's and lobbyists) and Barack is an unknown lightweight. Back in the 60's we could go with someone that was not known as well as others, but the world is in such a mess now that we can't afford the luxury of an unknown quality.

    January 20, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Susie Purcell

    Let's just play the "what if" game:
    What if Edwards is correct...America does want a decent, honest, forthright contender in the Presidential campaign...What if he does have an excellent plan for the future that just might work...what if the booklet he has written explaining how he feels on all the controversial subjects is there for the public to read, What if he still loves his first wife and his children, What if he really doesn't have any hidden agendas, what if he feels that it is his civic duty and his American duty to give back to the country that has given so much to him, What if he wants the same for you, What if he would like to bring jobs back to Detroit and Oklahoma City, what if he would like to see towels and sheets still made in both Carolinas and people able to get up each morning and have a place to actually go to work, what if he could bring respect and harmony back to America and regain our respect around the world, what if he could stop the borrowing of money from foreign countries, what if he actually could balance the budget and keep our country intact, what if he could gain the support of enough Americans who want the same as he wants instead of "THE SAME OLD BUSH THING THAT WE HAVE"...and keep the wolves away from the doors of all Americans....I certainly think it is worth asking a few questions. IT IS NOT ABOUT FEMALE/BLACK/AMERICAN INDIAN/HISPANIC nationality...it is about us all. We all live in this United States together and want the same for all our children – a peaceful world in which to live and grow up in and to work in and smile about...Have we lived so long in controversy and bickering that we don't recognize a good and decent person when we see one. I have followed John and Elizabeth's trail for years. I have seen them overcome obstacles in their personal lives that would flatten other families and they are still standing beside each other – turning bad into good – living each day as if it might be their last, contributing in the only way that most "normal American's" who come from middle class families, happy to be successful but not boastful....What if this could be YOU..I was patted on the head by President Truman when I was 4 years old...he looked me straight in the eyes and said grow up to be smart and giving to our country...It took America 40 years to appreciate this man. We don't have 40 years left. I am now 69 years old and I can tell you from my heart we need to listen to this man......No one has the answers but he has the questions and will listen to you when you ask him a question and he will respond with the truth. I can appreciate that. No, he is not flashy, he is just a decent, honest human being that has his heart and the heart of his family in the right place. What can be so wrong with that? In my book, absolutely nothing.
    Just like I knew when to retire – I also know when to speak out for the right person for our Presidency and I will work for John Edwards. I was in health care for 48 years. When my "new boss" was a former car salesman 28 years old and was going to tell me how to care for my patients-I knew it was time to go in the hospsital field and nursing. Is that what you really want? Someone with no experience at being kind, sensitive, caring, intelligent in our White House again? I think the answer to that question is NO.
    I think all the Democratic candidates have something to offer and certainly MORE to offer than any Republican named in this election. It is up to you JOHN Q. PUBLIC to ask yourself some hard questions when you look at that face in the mirror each morning....how did American get in this mess...it is going to take a very smart, firm, kind and decent man/woman to fix the problems and God will only know why they would even want to try....I am sure it will not happen in my lifetime. The America as we once knew it may be gone forever, but, our best HOPE is in John Edwards and Elizabeth. God Bless them and their sincere efforts. Respectfully, Susie Purcell Blanchard, Oklahma (one of Bush's welfare states because we lost Delta Faucet, Shock Absorber Plant, GM Plant, Firestone only to name a few to other countries).

    January 20, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  18. Class

    Mike,you sound like a boot licker.

    January 20, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  19. tobi

    Edwards needs to get out of this race. He won't, but he should. The electorate has spoken. This race is a two horse race. Edwards by staying in can only act as a spoiler for Obama. Edwards's supporters have been the more liberal wing of the Democratic party. These voters have big problems with Hillary Clinton and have a lot of loyalty to Edwards's very sweet wife. If Edwards was not in the race, the majority of those voters would probably vote for Obama. By staying in the race he is hurting his supporters by throwing states to the candidate they are least likely to support = Hillary.

    My take is that Edwards is staying in because he has no role in a potential Obama government and hopes he might have one in a Hillary government. Those are horribly greedy reasons to stay in the race. Cut a deal with Obama if that is required for you to get out of the race. Honor the love and support your supporters have given to you and give them back their precious votes, Mr. Edwards.

    January 20, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Seth(Kentucky)

    II think Edwards and Obama are in race against two Clintons . This is rather unfortunate moment in Politics. I would say Clintons are running dictatorship in democratic party. When the Nevada caucus debate was going on, Bill Clinton was in LA at the same time speaking to group of people. How can anyone compete against them in fair and justified manner?

    January 20, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  21. Edna

    Hillary and Obama both pledged to stop playing the "race card" if in deed they were playing it. But just as was expected, while Obama continues to speak about unity across party, economic, and all other lines, Hillary continues to play the "race card". Today she had a minister endorse her and in the process had him out what appeared to be a racist African American woman in his congregation who felt that he should not endorse a white woman over a black man. Who is she fighting? She certainly cannot implicate Obama's camp in this story. This woman was from a church where Hillary spoke. Obama was no where around at that time. I am sure Obama has encountered racist Caucasians during his campaign as well, but he has not ran to the media with it. I wonder how this spin will go.

    January 20, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  22. zillow

    The reason the media is shoving Clinton and O'bama down our throats is because they know that niether of them can win in the general election. Add to that the type of nasty campaign they are both running and they won't even be able to unite their own party much less the country. That is exactly what big media wants. They are running a business. Their sole purpose is to make $$ not inform voters about the candidates. Why do you think you never hear them actually talk about the issues? It is because it is not about the future of the country and the middle class or the economy or any of that for them, it is about their bottom line. The news is nothing more than info-tainment. Everyone knows all media congomerates would always want the GOP in the white house over the democrats. So they have a strategy to ensure that is what will happen in November. Don't worry they will make sure you are covered on all the mudslinging going on in both campaigns because that is what sells. Clinton, O'bama and big media are sealing the coffen on the democratic party for years to come and the Amercian people are too stupid to see it. The only hope this country had of change and the dems winning is John Edwards and the media is going to make sure that he does not have a chance because they just happen to be one of those big $$ special interests Edwards is always talking about that have a strangle hold on our middle class. The same thing happened to Howard Dean in 2004. There was an interview of him and he was saying that the big media monopolies need to be broken up and that conflicts of interest like defense contractors owning the media should not happen. From that moment forward in his campaign, his name was mud in all the media coverage. It changed just like that, and the American people followed like lambs to the slaughter. If you don't think the media controls the election process, think again. They control the flow of information or lack there of, and that is what people base their votes on. My advice is if you want to have sound judgement as a voter, read each of the candidates websites and watch the debates only- NO PUNDINTS! Based on that decide for yourself. If the American people allow it, the media will make sure that any progressive voice is not heard.

    January 20, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  23. Juli An

    I think John is a good guy. I'm not sure I will vote for him – I'm probably going to vote for Hillary... A Hillary/Edwards ticket would be GREAT!

    January 20, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |

    I would say that most of the Senate is made up of former LAWYERS.Does it mean they are all corrupt ? NOOOOOOOO! Everyone needs a lawyer today just to read their credit statement or phone agreement or signing up for a loan with all the fine print and the lies and out right theft going on.The problem is lies and Greed.

    January 20, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  25. Tracey

    Edwards is a nice guy, but this is the wrong political race for him right now. Any other time he'd have a decent chance but we have two candidates out there ready to make history and that's what the people want to see.

    I hate to say it but he'd be better off stepping down and endorsing one of the two front runners as soon as possible so that folks know it's really down to two by Super Tuesday. I hope he will support my favorite, Obama, since I'd love to see an Obama/Edwards ticket in November.

    Obama/Edwards in '08!

    January 20, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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