January 30th, 2008
10:40 AM ET
15 years ago

Edwards ends presidential bid, calls rivals

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/30/art.edwards.ap.jpg caption=" Edwards is getting out of the White House race."] (CNN) - Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, CNN has learned.

The former senator has told top advisors about his decision. It is expected he will announce it at a speech in New Orleans, Louisiana, at 1p.m. Wednesday.

Edwards has trailed former first lady Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in the early primaries.

Full story

- CNN's Suzanne Malveaux, John King, and Jessica Yellin

Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (561 Responses)
  1. Larry, CA

    John Edwards will be the Vice Presidential candidate for Barrack Obama soon. This has been in the works for sometime now.
    Bye, Bye, Hillary.

    January 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Sorry to see you leave

    I'm sorry John Edwards has decided to leave the race. He is a great person with a fantastic goal of ending poverty (as much as it ever can be), in a country consumed by greed, self-importance and entitlement.
    He brought focus to uncomfortable issues that most Americans don't want to acknowledge, much less feel that might have some responsibility for creating.

    He is a fine American and I sincerely hope that he becomes a member of the next President's cabinet.
    I think he can be more effective as a Secretary in the Cabinet than as a President or VPresident.

    Thank you John Edwards for your dignified and elegant campaign!!!!

    January 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. tomdavie

    Edwards was splitting the white vote. The better Edwards did in the voting, the better obama did in winning. Iowa was an excellent example.

    In nevada, Edwards got 6% of the vote, and Clinton had her widest victory.

    Obama needed Edwards to split the delegates. It is VERY curious that Edwards did not simply stay quiet and get his delegates on Feb 5th. Its very obvious to me that if he was going to Obamas camp, he would have scooped as many as possible then chucked them at Obama.

    Now we will see how HUGE the vote breaks down . Should be a VERY interesting two person debate tomorrow.

    January 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. Gregory, NYC

    John Edwards is an honorable man and I would have been proud to live under his presidency. Unfortunately his time was 4 years ago. This is Obama's time now. Billary needs to step aside next.

    OBAMA 08!!!!

    January 30, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  5. Carol

    I wish he would have stayed in through the debate. He provides some alternatives to two candidates that blah, blah, blah the same thing. It is sure to be boring and annoying.

    It appears people who blog here are not paying attention to the rest of the world again. Guess who Richardson is hinting he will endorse by the end of the week? He said it wouldn't be based on statistics or past relationships. Whose Presidency did he serve under that isn't going to effect his decision?

    January 30, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. Angela

    He's not endorsing anyone – seems to be keeping his options open so that he gets a VP pick or becomes Attoney General.

    I don't think it will make much difference as I think that his votes may go to both Clinton and Obama equally.

    January 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. margie

    Good luck John. I really liked you.
    Good decision. Please don't jump in and endorse anybody just yet.
    Take your time and do what is best for the country and you. I would like to see you on a winning side.

    January 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. Amused, Las Vegas

    Does that mena they have to throw Mike Gravel between Obama and Clinton in tomorrow night's debate?

    January 30, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. An Agnostic Democrat

    Thanks, John, you had my vote early on. Now let's get to work to make sure the status quo has got to go! Help us in our efforts to speak truth to power! That being said, you'll come across as some kind of hypocrite if you don't throw your support behind the other candidate for change who most closely echoes your sentiments.

    January 30, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. California Independent

    I wonder who bought him off. My guess is it was Obama. This is a great test of the CHARACTER of the remaining candidates. We get to find out which candidate is willing to SELL OFF our government for favors.

    January 30, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Tom Wittmann


    You say:
    January 30, 2008 9:22 am ET

    ""That's good…. now maybe Obama can pickup his votes""

    Very difficult to say. His supporters were both people which did not like Hillary nor
    Obama, by whichever reasons.


    January 30, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  12. Brian, NJ

    Nothing can stop Mike Gravel now.

    January 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Carrie

    I really liked Edwards, he really represented the fight for people without a voice. but sadly it was never meant to be for him.
    I hope all his supporters now vote for Barack Obama. Obama is the only one that can bring about real change in washington.
    We know what the clintons have done and can do, But we also know the best days of America are ahead of us and Barrack Obama can bring about those days by energising the people making us believe again, coming up with bold ideas, reaching beyond party lines, knowing he is an American first before he is a democrat. He has demonstrated this over and over again.
    America lets vote for Obama and embrace the future and not the past.
    Obama 08.

    January 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. Dave

    Thank goodness. Its about time Sen. Edwards quit. Now Obama can pick up some more votes

    January 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Tomi

    I expected this to happen at some point, but not this soon. From his own indication, he was to fight on regardless. I couldn't help but wonder how he'd do just that without adequate funds. Well, I wish him the best.

    January 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. Lonny

    Great man that fights poverty and corporate greed! Now we democrats must rally around the only true change candidate left, Barack Obama!

    January 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. Jackie

    John Edwards did this country a favor with his service and with his commitment to run for our highest office. He did so with dignity, humility and decency. I thank him for it.

    And I also hope that he lends his support to the remaining candidate who demonstrates dignity and decency, Senator Barack Obama.

    Best wishes to Edwards and his wife for the future.

    January 30, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. Independent

    Well, I believed and still believe in John Edwards message and cause. He would have been good as a president. I hope he openly endorses Obama. He and all of us who have been following this election closely know that only Obama's presidency can realize Edwards dreams for our country, though not perfectly.

    Obama and Edwards differ slightly on policy - but not on vision. Perhaps the two can run together in the general election. I can't imagine Edwards agreeing to run as Hillary's mate.

    January 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  19. L.P. Smith in Atlanta

    I'm gutted. It's very sad news. I really liked Edwards, and his ideas were def. the best ones that were offered. Edwards would make a great VP or U.S. Attorney General. (Now, I'll back either Obama or Hilary for Prez.)

    The crux is: who can take on McCain in November!? The bottom line is–we cannot end up with a Huckabee-theocracy or Mitt Romney disaster

    Response to the comment above about Edwards being rich–well, why don't you just Google, "Mitt Romney and Bain Capital." Romney makes Edwards look like a pauper. (Bain Capital's average annual internal rate of return on realized investments was 113 percent, making money primarily through leveraged buyouts.) Romney/Bain Capitol owns, or invested, in Staples, Brookstone, Domino's, Sealy Corporation, Sports Authority, Burlington Coat Factory, and *Clear Channel Communications.*

    Ahem, "In 1996, Bain Capital, purchased Clear Channel Communications for $19.5 billion. They operate over 1,100 full power AM, FM, and shortwave radio stations, twelve XM radio channels, and more than 30 television stations in the United States." **Let's hope Romney doesn't BUY the presidency!!!**

    January 30, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  20. Lonny

    Great candidate! I voted for Edwards in the primaries in 04.
    Now I support, Barack Obama. I hope he will endorse him!

    January 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Noreen

    "I never bought the line that he has been fighting the fight for the poor all his life anyways. He got pretty rich while doing that"

    Why do you feel the need to tear this man down with comments which hold no merit but are just

    He grew up poor and had to put himself through college and then law school. He fought for those who couldn't fight for themselves in court rooms against well paid attorneys. He doesn't deny that he has done well but wanted everyone in this country to have the same opportunity to succeed despite not having the upbringing that the other two candidates have had.

    Yes he changed his mind on certain votes but he had the integrity to admit his mistakes. We are all human and it takes more courage to admit your mistakes then to hide by not answering to your votes.

    I am not surprised that he could not fight against history nor could he fight the media which has been against him since the 2004 election. I decided a week ago that maybe he could do more good helping those in need in the private sector. Maybe most of you don't know this because of the media blackout. But on MLK Day, his son, MLKIII sent Edward a letter that day encouraging him to stay in the race because he felt he would continue the work that his father did with great integrity. Maybe that is a reason he dropped out, maybe he can do more good by being on the edge of politics without being beholden to anyone.

    I found it interesting that at the same time you wished him well you tore him down. Makes me wonder who you support.

    January 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  22. Karen P

    My very best wishes and prayers to John and Elizabeth Edwards. John has run a good campaign and I kinda hate to see him leave the race and everyone absolutely loves Elizabeth.

    What happens to his delegates to the convention now?

    In my heart, I do hope Edwards endorses Obama. I would like to see Edwards as VP or Attorney General under Obama...definitely not Clintons...that would be too much of a clash. I believe Obama and Edwards could work well WITH each other...Clintons (note I used the plural Clinton) would be too dominating no matter what she's promising him now.

    Thank you John Edwards for speaking out on important issues.

    January 30, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. ia voter

    Even though I caucused for Obama, I am truly sorry to see him go. His message might have been wearing thin with Democrats, but I hope at least some part of it continues. I'll give Edwards an immense amount of credit: he knew that we need to speak in populist terms to regain the support of Midwestern democrats, a demographic that we as a Party so sorely need to win back.

    January 30, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  24. brian, nj

    the last real liberal leaving the race...
    time to vote obama, the last real person in the race.

    wake up. we don't need 20 (24 if re-elected) years of the same two families, bush clinton bush clinton, in the white house! this is a democracy, not a monarchy.

    January 30, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  25. Matt

    Curious who will pick up his votes. On one hand the "change" votes might go to Obama, whereas certainly Edwards' demographics are more similar to Clinton.

    January 30, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
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