May 12th, 2008
09:55 AM ET
13 years ago

Edwards says Clinton must be careful

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Edwards says Clinton needs to be careful."]
(CNN) - John Edwards still says he is remaining neutral in the Democratic presidential race, but the onetime candidate all but said Sunday it is impossible for Hillary Clinton win the Democratic nomination, and warned the New York senator not to damage the party in the primary campaign's final stretch.

Appearing on CBS' Face the Nation, Edwards said Clinton has to be “has to be really careful that she’s not damaging our prospects," with continuing to take jabs at Obama.

"She doesn't need my advice, she knows this full well," Edwards said. "If she makes the case for herself, which she's completely entitled to do, she has to be really careful that she's not damaging our prospects, the Democratic Party, and our cause, for the fall."

Edwards also praised Clinton for the "strength and fortitude she has shown."

"I know how hard it is to get up and go out there every day, speak to the media, speak to crowds, when people are urging you to get out of the race. I mean, it's a very hard place to be in," he said. “But she's shown a lot of strength about that."

But the former North Carolina senator all but said her chances for winning the White House are over.

"The math is very, very hard for her," he said regarding her deficit in delegates to Obama. "The problem is, I think, you can no longer make a compelling case for the math.”

According to CNN's latest estimate, Clinton and Obama are now dead even in superdelegate support and Obama holds an overall 167-delegate lead.

Asked directly if Clinton should quit her White House bids, Edwards said, "I think it's a judgment that she has to make. And I think she's in a very, very tough place.”

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • John Edwards
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Dan in Atlanta

    Edwards is staying neutral for now, but is sending the signal that his pledged delegates will back Obama if Clinton wants to have a floor fight at the convention. In other words, you can't win Hillary.

    May 12, 2008 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  2. Ricky Marlin, New Orleans, LA

    I've never seen anyone so articulately say "Shut up Hillary."

    May 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. tom

    yes she need you advice, teach her how to exit like what you did. you did it twice you must be an expect in exiting

    May 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Michael

    We have supported John Edwards in the last 2 elections. It saddens us that he has chosen to support a person that has openly shown a racist attitude. If Mr. Edwards thinks that pointing out that Obama has a problem with race is dangerous then we have supported the wrong persona for the last 2 years. If Clinton cannot pull this out we will be forced to vote for McCain. That is too bad......

    May 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Juan from L.A.

    Today I read that she was bragging that for mother's day she got a vase and perfume from W. Va...this woman is just ridiculous...the exaggerations and lies she goes to just to get votes...the damage is already there Mr. started with her saying McCain was a better candidate than Obama...such a low blow...she deserves what she got and that is to lose...get out of our lives Hillary Clinton!!!

    May 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Jonathan of Tampa, FL

    I don't Clinton really cares about the fall, at least not while she is in the middle of running. She is shrewd and we all know will do or say whatever
    she has to say to win. I am not suggesting she stop running. I would want to see the end of the Super Bowl even if the game was a blowout.

    May 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. anybody but clinton

    I think the sad thing is that all of the Hillbots (the uneducated hardworking white americans) are saying that if she doesn't get nominated they will vote for McCain. Well, there are more people who voted for Obama so if they don't vote for her if she steals the nomination then she has absolutely no shot at winning the election. She's playing on the fears that if the "hard working white people' don't vote for her Obama has no shot. But what if the 'non hardworking blacks' and intelligent people don't vote for her...then what?????

    May 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. John, WV

    The fact is the race is not over yet according to the rule. You have to fight against your opponent and fight harder than before because the time and math is not helping you. It will "damage" the party, but in the end it will help the party more because a real tough and best candidate will win and that's the most important thing. So the "damages" caused by the primary is nothing compared to the loss in the general election if you don't let the two candidate fight as hard as they should.

    May 12, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  9. Heavy the D -Dallas

    Look, things are over here, Rachel i wanna ask you some few questions here: How do you get someone under your control if you don't get close to the person? How do you convince someone if you don't talk to the person? In the biblical way , remember Jesus sat with tax collectors in order to win their souls? Obama is going to use a strategic approach to Iranian president and hamas in order to get a grip and take action. You can't be too proud and arrogant in front of people like that . Got it?

    May 12, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. Ivar2

    Thanks god Hillary has stopped her whining. Looks like she has to be nice to Obama to make up for her Financial losses.

    May 12, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. Please let's come together

    Senator Edwards is right. I know Hillary supporters are dissapointed but it's over. Having said this could someone please give me a reasonable explanation for how a true Clinton supporter could ever deflect to John McCain. Look at his healthcare plan. This man is the polar opposite of everything the Clintons and other democrats have worked for for the past 20 years! Here are the reasons I've heard so far.

    1. Obama stole the nomination from FL and MI.
    No one who understands the democratic process (including HRC) actually believes this ridiculous notion.

    2. I like John McCain.
    I like my grandma.

    3. John McCain has the experience.
    And you would have him use this experience to destroy what is left of our country. We are losing our homes and our children are dying in a senseless war. For God's sake STOP AND THINK!!!

    May 12, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. CW in DC

    Unless Edwards is holding a press conference to announcing his endorsement (be it Clinton OR Obama), he needs to sit down and shut his yap and stop flapping his gums. I thought he would at least be endorsing after NC but he seems to enjoy having his face in the news.

    I'm an Obama supporter and would except either way he went. I'm just sick of seeing him. He's adding nothing to the equation except his endorsement. Someone no longer running for presidency needs to be trying to give advice to people still running. That's like somebody sitting in the stands trying to tell a player how to play his sport.

    May 12, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. RufusVonDufus

    Hey Edwards,

    YOU are doing just as much damage as Clinton. Your hesitancy in supporting Obama is laughable as you are waiting to protect your own butt. It is people like you who are the root cause of everything bad going on in the Dem party right now. Man up you wuss and declare for Obama or had you better wait to see if the Dems steal it from him and give it to the beast?

    May 12, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. Deb

    Glad to hear that Michelle Obama has veto power over the VP selection. I guess she's as qualified as I am. Neither one of us voted for the war, after all. But why does she always seem to be defending him while he sits there smiling as if she's his mommy making his case to that mean teacher who reprimanded him. Shouldn't HE be the one defending himself. If you thought HRC was bad as a White House spouse,think again.

    May 12, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  15. Brandon

    Well spoken, John Edwards. Well spoken indeed.

    The damage Hillary is doing by staying in the race when it is all but impossible for her to win will not be good for the Democrats' prospects.

    May 12, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Don

    This is great, however, if the super delagates do choose Obama, my Conscious will not allow me to vote for him. I can not vote another Republican either. Therefore I will have to write in Hillary.

    I can not vote for a person who himself or his campaign constantly relates to racial issues against the opponent. The Obama campaign is always using the racist trump and there is no place in the White House for that as it is deviding the country.

    May 12, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |

    Obama pretty much has this nomination locked up AND I know people think all the superdelegates should choose a side instead of sitting on the fence...

    BUT some of them have to stay "publicly" neutral to be the peacemakers when this race is officially over. Edwards, Gore, and many others will fill those needed shoes.

    May 12, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Chris from San Antonio

    No candidate should not leave the race until EVERY vote is counted!

    Edwards/Kucunich 08!

    May 12, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. Bring Unity not Divide and Conquer

    Hillary says Obama can beat McCain. She seems to fuel the country's racial divide by claiming that it's the white vote that counts, and figures Obama can have what's left. If Obama can make a great President, and EVERYONE'S vote matters, why can't she give the country what they want. The majority doesn't want segregation or "white america". She definitely lacks the qualities of a Democratic leader. I would hate to think that the old way of thinking is rearing it's ugly head again. If you think Obama is all about speeches and it's just words, maybe you haven't heard his speech on race. Words are very powerful. It can change the way we see the world. Bush was no good at stringing together words without sounding like he wanted to destroy it all. Hillary has been very damaging and it's been very draining to fight for our rights.. I think we'll all feel defeated if we hand this one to McCain. That's going to send America into a Depression for sure. I don't want a leader who will do that to us.

    May 12, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. teresa

    I so wanted John Edwards to have stayed in the race, but voters couldnt handle a nice calm strong driving force like him. Voters wanted chaos, controversy and dirt.

    Well, you all got what you voted for, enjoy it in the coming months.

    Hillary: stay in the race if you want, even if it means losing, even if it MEANS "hurting" the dems chances. Dems have been in trouble for years, we had no leadership, NO VOICE. And with Obama: we have no voice either. Just pretty little stories about "hope" and "change".
    Hope is dead. Change will happen no matter what we do. Dont let any MAN tell you what is best for you. One never knows what "dirt" may arise on your opponents. Stay in the race.

    May 12, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Steelers

    99% chance she will not get the nomination but to be fair and to put it in the terms of sports; let her finish the game because if they don't she can bring the entire "building down" on her way out.

    May 12, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  22. Richard Lebkowski

    As an American-born Canadian currently living in Toronto, I am saddened by Hilliary Clinton's selfishness. To insist that the voters in the remaining state primaries need to have their voices heard to justify not bowing out is a transparent example of her reckless need to fulfil her personal ambition. She should exit gracefully, if she still can.

    May 12, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. Pablo

    This is quite the tricky issue.... I feel that Obama will not win the nomination for president since he hasn't done anything to try to get Michigan and Florida to revote... It's as if their votes don't count.

    Hillary right now is not so far behind Obama in the popular vote, and I think that democracy is what the popular vote says, not the delegates.

    Hillary has campaigned for the people in Michigan and Florida to have their vote counted, so This can't really hurt her in November.
    If Obama wins, Mccain is going to take advantage of the democrats by deeming what the DNC did to Michigan and Florida, "Un-American", "Anti Democratic"... and this Will work.

    May 12, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. tim from Ravenna, OH

    Hillary is not the one hurting Obama, he was unelectable before this process even started. The media propped him up and blasted her down just long enough for the sheep in this country to follow along. Come Nov. it will be the other way around and McCain will be the media darling while the media questions everything about Obama. Democrats need to wake up and see this. Obama supporters are already looking for a scapegoat, namely Clinton, for his November clock cleaning. He won't win, but if he does he will only cause more damage and give the Republicans the springboard they need in 12.

    May 12, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. tom

    fred and your friends vote for whoever you want Mc Saine, Mc Bush or Hillary you all going to lose America knows very well we no longer have room for old politics this is New America

    May 12, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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