May 6th, 2008
12:40 PM ET
15 years ago

John and Elizabeth Edwards speak out

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="John and Elizabeth Edwards appear torn on the Democratic candidates."]
(CNN) - Need more evidence John and Elizabeth Edwards are torn on who to endorse in the Democratic presidential election?

In an interview with People Magazine, their first joint interview since John Edwards bowed out of the presidential race in January, the Democratic power couple sound off on what they like - and dislike - about both remaining Democratic hopefuls.

When it comes to Hillary Clinton, John Edwards praised the New York Democrat for her tenacity, saying she "shows a real strength that's inside of her." But the former North Carolina senator also said Clinton represents a "lot of the old politics."

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Edwards said she is a strong proponent of Clinton's healthcare plan, though is disappointed the New York senator accepts donations from lobbyists.

As for Barack Obama, John Edwards said he wants to "see more substance under the rhetoric." But he gave Obama praise for wanting to "bring about serious change and a different way of doing things."

Elizabeth Edwards said she is impressed by the fact Obama has "motivated so many young people to be involved," though she does not like his healthcare plan and said his advertisements on the plan have been "misleading."

John Edwards later added he thinks it’s a "great symbolic thing to have an African-American who could be president."

That sentiment, People reports, caused Elizabeth Edwards to roll her eyes:

"What about the great symbolic thing about a woman?" she asked.

"It's important. It's important. I know it," Edwards said.

Their endorsement could have proven pivotal ahead of today's contests in Indiana and North Carolina, though by the looks of things, the two need a little more time to decide.

soundoff (366 Responses)
  1. Susie

    Elizabeth Edwards is obviously endosing Hillary – she just doesn't want to make her husband look stupid but being unable to decide.

    May 6, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Christopher

    Frankly I dont think she rolled her eyes at the thought of the first Afro -American president...the THOUGHT THAT PEOPLE ARE VOTING FOR SUCH AND NOT BASED ON SUBSTANCE!

    I am an Afro American that TOO rolls his eyes at the thought of throwing a vote for someone that simply is ALL talk and absolutly NO substance what so ever.

    May 6, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Madrugada Jones

    I think John Edwards is leaning toward endorsing Barack Obama for two reasons: 1.) because he (rightly, in my opinion) attacked the heck out of Hillary in the early debates and 2.) because, if he's right about Hillary representing the "old style" politics, which I believe she does, if she was nominated as the Dem nominee she'd try to get a super-established older politician probably from the South or Southwest to be her running mate, whereas Barack would be more apt to pick a younger, not-as-experienced-in-Washington running mate that mirrors his own image as "not tainted by beltway politics".

    Cartoons here:

    May 6, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Sue

    "great symbolic thing to have an African-American who could be president."

    ...yeah, the thing is...we need someone with experience and solutions to go along with the 'symbolism'.

    Hillary '08

    May 6, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. Independent

    It is a good thing he dropped out – can't even make a decision between the 2 candidates! Your 15 minutes are up Mr & Mrs. Edwards

    May 6, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  6. krinten

    Now we know why He couln't convince voters. He is too indecisive. Sad.

    May 6, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  7. simon

    Elizabeth was just playing with her husband when she rolled her eyes. You Obamabots are just too overly sensitive about everything. Get over it!

    May 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. Frank

    John Edwards has already picked the winner......."represents the old politics" .......which no one wants any more

    May 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  9. OA

    Edward's wife rolling her eyes just goes on to confirm what a lot of us have been thinking....the Edwards are Clinton supporters, and the reason is because they cannot deal with the fact that a black man is still in the race and John Edwards is is rather sad as I had some respect for Edwards..what a shame

    May 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. John

    There is no way considering their statement about taking money from lobbyists that they can endorse Hillary Clingon

    May 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  11. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Setting it straight:

    Where do I begin? Let's see: His father is African, and his mother is American. That makes him an African American (DUH!)

    Would you like the name of another African Amrican? Charlize Theron. She was born in South Africa!

    Do you see the pattern? African American means an American with African roots – it doesn't mean they have to be 100% black. In fact, they don't have to be black at all. They simply have to have African roots.

    Are there any other topics you'd like to be educated in??

    May 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. CB2

    I havte lost all respect for both Edwards!! Why did she roll her eyes. The heck with her and her opinion. And John Edwards wants Barack to have more substance. Ah...where is your substance buddy. No one needs your comments nor your endorsements.

    I know that everyone is so excited to see a woman or African American as president. It will be the first time in history of the United States that something like this has happened. I just want some people to realize. This is bigger than Hillary or Barack. It is a symbol on how American has matured past slavery and segregation.

    Hillary thinks its tough being a woman and trying to run for president. It is even harder for Barack Obama. At least, all the past presidents look like her. If there was a black president before, then I could see her gripe for saying that there has never been a female president. Yes, there has been male presidents forever, but none of which were black or close to it. So my friends...I believe Barack Obama has it harder than a lot of you are willing to admitt.

    May 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. 40 yr black woman

    YES.. I am for Obama
    But I am really for some equality that I hope he will bring. I was just like to see someone who looks like me, someone who can relate to me bring about some fairness.

    Where is the diversity on CNN. Where are ANY black anchors.

    I watch CNN, yes I do. But it makes me sick to my stomach that they think they could ever be fair/ impartial.

    AND yes,, (I would vomit all the way.. )I WOULD vote for HRC if it came down to it. I am no fool. I guess its the less of two evils

    OBAMA 08

    May 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. David

    Hey, sounds like my house.

    May 6, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  15. T from MO

    She rolled her eyes because he "only" mentioned the fact of the first African American president being symbolic.. meaning he should have also stated it being symbolic of having the first Woman president.

    So if you understand it correctly, there's nothing disgusting about it. She was not doing it out of a racial thing.

    May 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  16. Q

    I think they have always been irrelevant, they should have come out months ago to endorse a candidate, be it Hillary or Barack and actively campaigned for the person....

    May 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  17. Chuck, Oregonians for Obama

    Symbolic? What do you mean symbolic? This is not about being symbolic, it is about electing the most qualified candidate that can bring about the change needed as well as unite the party as well as the country. It seems to me that the only one qualified to do that is Obama. He has proven his ability to cross the line and is willing to tell it how it is even if it huts. He also is not trigger happy and is more willing to talk about those things that divide us as well as the world than anyother candidate since Kennedy.

    May 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  18. Scott

    Talk about hedging your bets. Edwards talks about "old politics" but that is exactly what he is doing. He is sticking his finger in the air and checking which way the wind blows. I lost respect for this guy about two months ago when I realized he wasn't going to endorse anyone because he didn't want to take a chance and endorse the wrong candidate. Wake up people.

    May 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  19. Spirit of America

    You blew it, John, again. America has had enough of wishy-washy politicians. Take a stand; say what you mean and mean what you say.
    You didn't, that's why you will fade into oblivion. Too bad. You could have been a contender.

    May 6, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Independent Voter

    I have actually lost respect for this man and his wife. They have the ability to choose a candidate to endorse and potentially end this ridiculousness that is damaging the democratic party. Edwards and Gore would hold heavy influence on the opinions of democratic voters, but they refuse to do anything. Howard Dean's cries to align behind your chosen candidate and end the squabling are apparently falling on deaf ears.

    May 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. KBest

    There is this continued buzz about HRC and a court case against her and Bil. Why has CNN not reported and analyzed this case and how it can affect her chances? Media biaz? Media racism?

    Wolve Blitzer, you delight in showcasing Rev. Wright and the controversy surrounding his speeches, but you have completely ignored Hillary's court case and our cry for unbiased reporting.

    Bad job, white Wolve.

    May 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  22. Brenda

    Edwards' endorsement is NOT important at all to Obama as he will win. Why is it so difficult for the American people to give the vote to him? We will NEVER move forward when folk are afraid to use their heads to vote!

    May 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Lorna, NY

    I am really disappointed in John Edwards. He turned out to be a huge self-serving jerk. If he cared so much about poor people, why don't he give them some of his money???

    May 6, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    I wanted to like Edwards, but clearly he is waiting for Hillary to
    jump ahead of Obama so, he can get to be the V.P. When people

    TO WIN.


    May 6, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Cherie Bergman

    My first choice for the nomination was Edwards, with that being said I am disappointed he and his wife have not made a decision by now. I think they are hurting the Democratic Party, like so many other important Democrats, who have waiting far to long to endorse one canidate and end this ongoing race. My question is when will the National Democratic Party start acting like one?

    May 6, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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