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. Hillary 08

    Sorry...Edwards is no longer viable.....

    January 20, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. Joe

    Hillary's saggy old flabby baggage is sickening. With Bill running around
    like a mean dog part of the time and a whining pup the other part of the time
    it is depressing to watch. I wish the Clinton's would just go away for good.
    I would vote for Obama or Edwards, but I will vote for whoever runs against
    HillBilly if he/she/they are nominated.

    January 20, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. rita okani

    Congratulations Senator Edwards for coming this far, but the truth is you will never be the nominee. You and senator Kerry are the reason why we are in this called the Bushes administrations. You sir could not even defeat Chenny on a face of debate. What made you think that you can pull a win this time around. I remembered sitting in my leaving room almost about to have break down watching you agreeing with Chenny on every issues. Instead of being aggressive and show the world that you are different from that evil Chenny.

    January 20, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  4. Tim, Virginia

    This Democrat will never vote for Hillary after the way Bill and herself have conducted their campaign. I'd rather vote for McCain.

    It's Obama or bust for the Democrats in my opinion.

    January 20, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Ruby

    Well, at least he's not a quitter but-and I hate to say this- I really don't think he has much of a chance.

    January 20, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  6. KStar

    I wish everyone would take a better look at Edwards! LIsten to the things he is saying and backing up with his actions before you write him off! He has my vote in the MIssouri Primary, even though I like both Obama and Hillary in there own ways. I would be proud to have any of the 3 Democrat front runners as my next President, but Edwards has my primary vote. His message is bold and strong and he is the one that seems the most willing to fight for the Poor and the MIddle Class, he is passionate about it and don't we want a President that is passionate about something besides War for a change!

    January 20, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. carlo

    I for the life of me can't understand why Edwards is still in this race. He's almost out of money and he had all of the press he wanted back in 2004 when he ran for president. The only reason McCain can excel the second time around is because the Republicans don't really have much to go on this time. This is supposed to be the country of democracy, where everyone can be anything. I hardly think that having a Bush and a Clinton in the White House for 20 years looks like anything but dynasties. Enough is enough and too much stinks. I don't care how much Hillary's plans are worth to her and her supporters, but they aren't worth a dime if no one in Congress supports her and, quite frankly, doesn't like her.

    It speaks volumes that Democratic Congressional leaders who have known her for years are endorsing Obama. It also speaks volumes if John Edwards can even win in his birth state. Everyone who is voting Edwards is voting anti-Clinton, but aren't progressive enough to vote for a man with a name like Barack Hussein Obama, so if Edwards drops out, the bigger question would be what do some people hate more-a woman being President or a black man being President?

    January 20, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  8. Bioya1

    Edwards, being a litigious parasite, doesn't deserve even one vote. He'll throw in with Obama and try to defeat Hillary. I predict Hillary will win the Dem nomination because she has a well crafted machine. Then its up to the South and conservatives to kick her fat butt back to NY.

    January 20, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  9. Lionel Hutz

    I hope Edwards wins. We need someone to fight against the evil corporations. And if he gets elected he will get us all free healthcare, $1.00 a gallon gasoline, free prescription medicine and he will fight the evil banks so none of us ever have to pay our mortgages. After all, someone who lives in a 28,000 square foot mansion and is a partner in an investment company that has foreclosed on homeowners in New Orleans is a person who cares about the working people of the US.

    January 20, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. Chris

    The candidate that I am looking for will be able to push through and get out of a Iraq. Hillary will lose the general election, I don't think we can afford to take a chance with her. John's plan isn't a bad one, after all its mighty unlikely Obama or Clinton could make a fatal mistake. The Clintons do it all the time, and Obama is yet to be vetted . John staying in the race is actually good for the democratic party, just in case. Of course politics changes course like the wind, Obama and Clinton could just loose their Johnny Come lately status also.

    January 20, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  11. Linda~n~Wisconsin

    I say have the primaries all on one day, that would give every candidate a fair shake and it would take the media and the pundits out of the circle.

    Don't kid yourself here with "the good old boys club" is strong and kicking. Most of the men don't know what to do with an intelligent, experience, and good looking woman. Oh if I could only be a fly in the rooms of all the male chauvinist when Hillary wins.

    It will hurt Edwards & Obama more to lose to a woman than to just lose.

    January 20, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  12. Sam

    I am watching CNN at the moment and they are on the Democratic primary in South Carolina. They show Hillary and Obama in a black churches talking about Martin Luther King, Jr. So how do they show John Edwards? . . . saying" I got my butt kicked and now I'm gonna get up and start fighting". That was the extent of their coverage of him. I suppose Edwards supporters should be appreciative of the small bone tossed to them.
    They are also talking about this so called tax rebate. . . it will only go to those that make enough money to pay income tax. What about those that do not make enough and those on social security that do not draw enough to pay taxes. These are actually the people that need even a one time check to help pay the bills. I suppose that one cannot expect Dubya to think of the millions in this country that are effected by this so-call recession (to them it's more of a depression) when his big buddies in the corporate world are "hurting". Maybe he thinks their record profits and just not big enough. My heart bleeds for him and them.

    January 20, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  13. John Edwarss

    Of course he got his butt kicked!! surprise, surprise. He should have got an idea in 2004, nobody wants him as any leader at all. HE was an ambulance chaser, what do you expect.

    Go Obama!

    January 20, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. allisha

    obama and edward are both men...

    they both support civil union between two men

    they defand each other against a women in the debates...

    they are very close to each other...

    i think they can make a good civil union together

    the only real man who said no to a civil union between two men is mike huchabee

    you better vote for a real man ..or...a woman

    good bless mike hackebee...

    January 20, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Mary

    John Edwards is the real deal ,please pay close attention and vote Edwards, the welfare of our country depends on it,he can't be bought and he loves his country and truly cares about our well being on every issue! He has the passion it will take to persevere...Not to mention he can win if he gets the nomination.Please,please,please.

    January 20, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. Rohanna

    To those who think that everyone except Clinton and Obama should STFU and get out of the race, there's more to the political process than just getting the nomination. There is a party debate to be shaped and a party platform to be developed. Some people still care about these subtleties and still want to hear a variety of viewpoints for the duration of the election season (which, BTW, seems to start earlier and earlier every election cycle), not just those of #1 and #2. We live in a complicated world; we shouldn't let our political process be dumbed down, just because it's hard for a lot of people to understand (or because journalists are so danged lazy and beholden to corporate interests these days).

    January 20, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. Sam

    Mr. Perfect learn where to put your decimal points. I know a $400.00 haircut is overkill . . . but you make out like he had a $4000.00 cut. I'll bet the richest Hollywood star would flinch at $4000.00.
    Expensive haircut or not . . .I will still be voting for John Edwards on Super Tuesday. The others just steal his material and the media lets them.

    January 20, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  18. JuleS, Chicago

    It's great to finally hear a political candidate - a politician, for that matter - actually admit to something so readily, directly and honestly. Without putting a spin on it, as his "people" tried to do, Edwards himself came out and unequivocably stated the obvious: he got his butt kicked.

    It almost makes me want to suopport him - except I also remember the answer to the debate question about his greatest weakness: "I'm too passionate.... I care too much about people." Now THAT'S a politician talking.

    January 20, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. ttj

    Mike, those "great corporations" that most people work for pay their CEOs obscene amounts and treat most others as if they were dispensable. That is not fair or even Democratic. You might be one of the fortunate ones or you might just be resigned to what you think is an unwritten social contract favoring a small group of individuals. There is a better way, however, and of all the presidential candidates, only Edwards has shown that he understands that. A vote for Edwards, win, lose or draw, is a vote for a fairer system and one that puts voters interests ahead of those of corporate elites. I hope people begin to understand that.

    January 20, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  20. Vic

    Edwards is a rich guy that wants to be middle class, he doesn't connect with
    the people, the everyday Joe. Edwards reminds me of Richie Rich poor little
    rich kid, time for you to pack up and go home, anyway can't respect a guy that
    will use his wife illness to get votes, it may not be what he is doing, it just
    appears that way...

    January 20, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  21. VK



    January 20, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  22. Jonathan, Provivednce, RI

    What refreshing honesty from Mr. Edwards. His disgraceful behavior following a near-tie with Hillary and Obama in Iowa (where despite her third-place finish, Hillary actually earned more delegates than Edwards) where he virtually declared Hillary's political career over was a huge reflection on how a man of his menial calliber would do with the presidency. I have faith in Hillary to bring the change we need in this country, and I hope very much that she and Senator Obama can come together on the ticket. It would make 16 years of Democratic presidency a virtual certainty. Hillary/Obama '08!

    January 20, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  23. Citizen

    To all Obama goers and especially Billary sucks,

    Wait, watch and learn how Hillary kicks your asses!

    McCain is the next president!

    January 20, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. From Illinois

    John Edwards is a great guy and would make a great pres. I hope he stays in. If not, i will vote Clinton. Barac has done nothing for us since getting elected to the Senate. He is a lot of hot air.

    January 20, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. Gary

    I think its rather apparent that John Edwards is not doing as well as he should be for the simple fact that he looks like the typical politician. I think its rather sad that he is not being looked at for his positions and great ideas that could bring America back to what it should be. The facts are currently in the democratic party everyone is so excited that a African American and a Women are running everybody isnt just being looked at for what their going to do for the country What ever happened to listening to everyones views before passing judgement on them. If people would use their heads to vote for the candidate that could truely make a difference in this country, end our federal deficit and cares about increasing the minimum wage and fixing the health care system, that effect the average joe they would see that John Edwards is the best candidate. I think everybodys so stuck on change, that they arnt looking at we need good change. Really people it dont matter what your color or your sex is all that matters is someone who cares about America enough to help this become the America it has the potential to be. Its a awful shame that Senator Edwards is not getting enough air time because people already think this is a two person race so early on, look at where that got us with bush. I would like to see a Edwards Biden ticket for 08.

    January 20, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
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