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. debbie

    He is scared of Hillary and you are too CNN! sorry to say it. The fact is, she is not worth all the effort you put into her..... She is a human being just like everybody else. So she doesn't win. Our country will be just fine.

    May 6, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. Dee

    Why doesn't he SPEAK clearly? Now they have spoken out of both sides of the fence. What does THE BIBLE say: "Be yeah hot or be yeah cold ... if you are luke warm I will spew you our MY mouth."
    This could also apply to other Superdelegates: Speak truth to the matter!

    May 6, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. quan

    Sounded like John wants to endorse Hillary ....but is refraining 'cos he is afraid of offending the popular vote in NC.

    May 6, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. Kenneth M


    May 6, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Edwards runs the risk of becoming irrelevant.

    You see, if he waits too long, then other superdelegates could decide Hillary's (or Obama's) fate, before he makes his decision. If that happens, then Edwards no longer matters.

    This also applies to Jimmy Carter. In fact, Obama would do better WITHOUT Jimmy Carter's endorsement. Then he wouldn't be linked to the guy that met with Hamas. At least he had enough sense to say that it was a bad idea.

    May 6, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  6. Scott Hughes ATL

    I like John Edwards, but who asked Elizabeth??? Also, who will really care about their opinion after today?

    May 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. Emma CA

    If we are waiting for the Edwards couple to make a voting decision, that would be astonishing and detract from thinking for ourselves. Do we think he is that influential? He stated publicly he is not available for the VP spot.

    Obama is the better candidate. His health plan is more likely to create some movement in Congress than Hillary's. Hers is too ambitious and grandiose.

    May 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. Angela - Florida

    Edwards endorsement does not seem to matter to much I dont think. Of course I do not live in NC so I can not be sure but if he lived in Florida I would not really care. I do not see why he waits, I don't think either candidate would choose him as VP. I think he might think we drive around with bumber stickers that say WWJED? (what would john edwards do?)

    May 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Truth in politics is an endangered species. Why is Obama always referred to as the "African American" or "Black American" candidate, when his of mixed heritage?

    May 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Baby B

    Here comes the HATEFUL, BITTER Obama fans. She rolled her eyes because he ONLY said AA was Symbolic NOT A women and an AA.


    May 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Ryan kr

    Who cares what the Edwards say??...I don't listen to them and i don't think their voice 're relevant anymore..... What a joke?

    May 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. Sharon Minnesota

    Will-South Dakota. I must ask, are you color blind or have you not watch CNN's reporting lately?

    May 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Julie mn

    I also think it would be great to have an African-American president. So why didn't they do some background checking on Obama? I dont believe he qualifys.
    I wish they would of choosen Major Nutter. but the powers that be could'nt run him, because he has integrity, values,and morals, Instead they chose Obama who has got where he is by being part of the corrupt chicago world of dirty politicians. I secretly hope that Hillary wins and chooses Major Nutter as vp, that would be my dream ticket.

    May 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Aaron, ATL

    Can you say irrelevant....

    May 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Montana is Obama Country

    correction== pants.. not ants.. although funny. 🙂

    May 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. AJ

    It would be a great symbolic thing to have an African American who could be President of the United States if it was an African American of substance. Obama is nothing but ego in a suit. I have voted in every single election since I have been eligible, and never supported any republican for any office. If Obama wins the nomination I will be sitting at home. I believe that he will be the Democratic version of G. W. Bush.

    May 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. To Mike

    CNN reported earlier that Edwards wife endorsed Obamas health care plan! No the report that she is undecided. This is one of the worse news networks (Fox easily beats out CNN as the 'worse ever')

    May 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Val

    Here's some tie breakers....
    who is uniting the country.....who is div id ing it?
    who tells the truth no matter what.....who tells lies to get ahead?
    who just last year was able to pay off he and his wife's student loans.....who has made $100+?
    who takes the high road.....who likes to dig up dirt and throw it?
    AND FINALLY....who will make healthcare affordable for everyone.....and who will impose it on you by taking it out of your already low wages?

    healthcare is important....but so is eating and paying the rent.

    May 6, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. DAN

    The problem with Obamas change is no one knows what it means.We know what his program and policies are so where's the change, Bill Ayers kind of change or rev Wright or Rezko what change. I think Hillary is much closer to sen Edwards in policy and substance and should get his endorsement His supporters are voting for Hillary anyway.

    May 6, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. Bill, Covington

    Could it be Elizabeth rolled her eyes because she thinks John could have one of the obama relatives on the side? He appears to be the type, wouldn't make any difference to him if it was male or female, as long as they were lovers.

    May 6, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. nganga

    Between the line; Edwards is saying that he is jealous of the fact that Obama is a better speaker than he is and that is why he was not getting votes. Remember what he said about Hillary after Iowa? The status quo has LOST!
    Elizabeth is saying the same thing like the hubby. She said Obama is energizing and mobillizing a lot of young people to vote who in turn voted for Obama and not her husband.
    Oh! and about Hillary, She accepts money from lobbyist and that is why she is still able to finance her campaign unlike her hubby who refused to take lobby-dollar but could not get enough coz the money followed the momentum and the excitment (read Obama!)
    So y'all still holding your breath waiting for Elizabeth and Edwards to endorse either of the candidates?

    May 6, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Obama in 08, 12

    I think it would be great to have a female President also, but shouldn't the 1st female President be special...someone who will have an enduring legacy and be an inspiration to all young women. That certainly is NOT Hillary Clinton. She stood by her man during countless affairs, she's a liar, and an egomaniac.

    May 6, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  23. Gene

    Elizabeth Edward is a sheer loser.....i never care what she says or thinks....she is a bigot..............

    May 6, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. Democrat in Iowa

    Obama has no substance – just talk.

    Yes, Michelle – let's get back to the issues. What issues have you or your husband actually addressed? It appears to me that Mrs. Clinton has been the only one providing solutions and has the strength to carry them out.

    Obama's supporters are dooming our party to a loss this fall against McCain.

    Go Team. Yes we can.

    May 6, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  25. Henry

    African Americans have always known that Elizabeth Edwards is a farce! Guess they took a break from the pandering in New Orleans pretending they cared about the poor Black People.

    May 6, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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