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. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    Edwards is not what he would like people to believe. He has
    been "waiting" for Hillary to leap ahead, so he can endorse her.
    She must have promised him the V.P. That's is how the Clinton's
    work. Obama is his own man.

    I lost a lot of respect for Edwards and his Hillary Clinton "game"

    May 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. Canadian observer

    At this point it's irrelevant. If he had endorsed either candidate earlier on, it might have made a small difference. At this late stage of the process, it doesn't matter any more.

    May 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Jayne

    The Edwards family missed the train. Their opinions are no longer relevant, so they can stop playing coy to stay in the spotlight. Time to go home to the kids, people.

    May 6, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. kenny cole

    Mike or what do you call your name,yes he got it from poor people,$ 10-$25 checks and we trust him OBAMA,am not talking about SNIPER FIRE,or a PANDRING GAS TAX HOLIDAY only a fool can fall for that

    May 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  5. satish

    No one should get a vote just because it would be nice to have a black president or a woman president!!! Come on people...we r talking about the presidency of the country - not some local organization!!!

    Voting should be based only on who can get things done and stand tough to lobbyists and in ht einternational community

    May 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  6. Come on John

    Oh come on, John... Those of us who (admittedly a minority) supported you so strongly have had to make a decision (we've chosen Obama) as a plan B. The least you could do is come along for the ride...

    May 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. tom

    They are insiders – if the voting public has enough information to make a good decision at this point, they should have much more than enough.

    It may be a good move to have prominent people like Edwards stay neutral now, so they can fully back the nominee once it is finally decided. The more important election is still to come.

    May 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  8. broadstreet buddy

    Mayor Nutter wasnt even a mayor before this primary started!!! Great Choice! And as for a background check, you could not have had a better candidate than Obama. He has continued on the high road the whole time while Clinton cannot get out of the gutter. Julie from mn.

    May 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  9. Pam

    Who gives a rat's butt about who Elizabeth Edwards supports?

    May 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  10. Catherine

    I never liked Elizabeth Edwards anyway. She & Hillary are alike in so many ways.

    May 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  11. Dan in CO

    ""Since when is Elizabeth a super delegate?""

    Since when is John a superdelegate?

    May 6, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Terry

    since John Edwards is the key person not his wife it looks like he wants to support Obama, wise choice. He is between a rock and a Clinton.

    Hope you win today Obama

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. M.Nathanson

    On the one hand Clinton is... on the other Obama has... on the third hand Clinton says...on the forth hand Obama wants... ; This Edwards pair are wuses and amount to nothing. who they 'endorse' months too late is important as last years snow.

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. Donat E. Grant - Weston Florida

    Clearly she is leening towards Hillary and he towards Barack. They just cannot come to a decision where they both support the same candidate... this is going to be an opportunity lost for John. He will not be in a Barack cabinet.

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Leo

    I am an Obama supporter, but this is the truth about many of us. to see it so concisely put within one household is a true testament to how tough this race really is. Personally, old politics has GOT to stop!

    But then again, either will be McCain, so in my opinions THIS is the real race.

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. Big Chris-Chicago

    Yes, it would be nice to have a woman president just as well as having an African American President. That fact is..... It should not be Hillary. We dont need 2 families dominating the world's most powerful country and most powerful job in the world. What does that say about the USA. We might as well tear up the constitution and pledge our loyalty to Great Britain. All Hail Queen Hillary (oops!!, I mean Queen Elizabeth). We need someone in the white house with fresh ideas and new leadership to work with both parties. Not the political machine of arm twisting and hook-winking, baby kissing, hand-palm greasing, wealthy politicians who will accept money from any lobbyist that pays the highest dollar and no back bone and willing to say or do anything to get to the white house. If all these descriptives sounds like one particular candidate, you guess it, Hillary Clintion. Go Barack. Beat the pants off of her so that the remaining superdelegates have no choice but to come out and end this prolonged mud-slinging fest.

    Indiana is not going to stand by and let Hillary come in and snatch the nomination from Barack. Indiana is in our backyard. Chicago is not going to let that happen! Southside!! Barack Obama 08- and 2012. You better recognize!

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  17. JC

    Although John is out of a job, he can live off his investments. He is better off to run again in 2012 than taking a V.P. offer. Should he take a V.P. offer, he will suffer a mental breakdown if he works for Bill and Hillary. Just ask Al Gore!

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. Farrell, Houston, Tx


    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  19. Rebecca

    Lies, lies, and more lies. That is what we will get from the Clintons once again. "I did not have sexual relations with that woman". "We had to run for cover because we were under sniper fire." If you like lies then the Clintons are your best choice. I don't like liars myself but that's just a personal opinion.

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    $1200 haircuts and we make him a hero. He is all for the
    Bonnie and Clydes of modern politics.

    If Hillary wins, she won thru lying and cheating. She will never
    come "across for the poor", Mr. Edwards. Self gain is the reason
    you have not endorsed. Go Home.

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. tom

    That Mrs. Edwards would roll her eyes at Sen. Edward's statement is understandable, to a degree. Sen. Clinton's presidency would of course not mark the beginning of women's occupancy and direct influence – even at 3AM – in the White House. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, represents a breakthrough at a level never before approached in American politics. The potential occupancy of the White House by a family that would have been, literally, in chains and under whips of their masters – male and female – just a few generations back, is something that moves me to tears. I am so pround of our country right now.

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Orange, purple collar, working male not for Dems:

    I hate to bust your bubble, but Barack Obama is a true African-American. Remember, his father was African and his mother was American. Do the math.

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Dylan

    Sounds like John is for Obama and Liz is (for some reason) for Hillary.

    May 6, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Bayou Joe

    Don't you just hate people who sit on the fence. That's why he is not a viable candidate. Can't make up his mind. Or maybe Elizabeth wears the pants in this house.

    He needs to support Obama so that he can lose to McCain in the Fall.

    No Bama in the Whitehouse. Go John McCain

    May 6, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Gail

    To Will in South Dakota:

    CNN has people of color reporting. Roland Martin is working overtime for Obama.

    May 6, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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