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

Edwards says Clinton must be careful

Edwards says Clinton needs to be careful.

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. Katherine & John

    Hillary needs to take off the gloves and hit Obama hard. Grind him up now. Sooner rather than later when the GOP will surely take him down.

    Let the vetting finally begin. The Dems MUST do it now before they are stuck with Obama.

    Obama is unelectable. Obama is unqualified. Obama can NEVER win a general election.

    Hillary has already proven she can win big in the big states that are the must wins for the Dems in a general election.

    Tomorrow is another victory for Hillary in West Virginia! A HUGE victory for Hillary is happening tomorrow. Why can't Obama close the deal in the states that are the must wins for the Dems? THIS IS BREAKING NEWS, CNN!

    Why would the Dems be foolish enough to nominate Obama who cannot win the states that Dems must win in November?

    Keep fighting Hillary! We LOVE you, We LOVE your true grit, We LOVE your patriotism!

    May 12, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Jill American

    Finish all the states.
    Count all the votes.
    See who won.

    The Dem created this process so let them deal with it.
    Stop asking Hillary to GIVE the nomination to Obama.

    May 12, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  3. Chris in NC

    She drove her campaign into the ground... had to fire a manager because she was afraid to tell her bad news (she was out of money)!

    She's the over-achieving goomba we all disliked in school.... and still dislike.

    Ms. Clinton, go away and go back to the senate job you haven't been doing since last Summer!

    May 12, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  4. Ashley

    I don't understand the folks who say they will vote for McCain rather than one or the other Democratic candidates. There just isn't that much difference between ideas the two Democratic candidates propose–so they'd rather have four or eight more years of a Republican? Doesn't make sense to me. These folks aren't Democrats; they're voting strictly on personality.

    May 12, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  5. Rick, PA

    So, Hillary's supporters are going to vote for McCain. They would rather see McCain as president than Obama. Even though Obama has the same outlook on the issues as Hillary and Obama is close to wrapping this thing up fair and square. But, that is your right. And, when McCain takes away abortion rights and brings back a draft to support his Iraq war, I hope you do not have any young men/women in your family that will have to pay for your ill advised vote. Think very hard about your vote!

    May 12, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  6. jahd'n

    obama/edwards 08'

    May 12, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. Georgia

    Edwards lost his relevancy when he chose not to endorse a candidate earlier in the campaign. Since he didn't have the guts to endorse, why should we care about his opinion?

    May 12, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. Barb

    Hillary's behavior is incredibly self-indulgent and destructive.Having $20M in reported debts and continuing this race, misleading the American people, attacking the apparent nominee of your party? To what purpose???

    Does she intend to be McCain's running mate? She has certainly been very helpful to him, spoken very positively about him. In fact, I can't even recall a time when she has ever gone after George Bush the way she has gone after Obama...not in eight years!

    I don't think she is putting herself in a position of strength. I think her people, like Ickes, Carville, Lanny Davis, etc. are goading her on. She needs to realize after this is over, she will still be the sitting senator from New York. She is burning so many bridges, how can she function effectively for New York.

    May 12, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Michael

    Hillary Clinton is the most mendacious person ever to run for President, barely beating out her mountebank of a husband.

    May 12, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. empire

    Hillary could still make history by becoming the first woman vice-president.

    They could make a good team, and united the fractured Democratic Party.

    I hope Clinton supporters don't vote for McCain- a vote for McCain is a vote for outlawing abortion and a vote for the Iraq war.

    Obama-Clinton 08 and 12

    May 12, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. JN in CA

    I voted for Clinton in the CA primary, but I admit that since then my support for her has weakened.

    If Obama turns out to be the nominee, I will surely vote for him. I cannot understand the comments from my fellow Democrats who say that they will vote for McCain if Hillary is not the nominee. I can understand hurt feelings, but please consider what is best for the country as a whole. McCain seems like an honorable man, but the United States cannot afford another Republican administration. It will only seal our fate as a fallen former superpower.

    May 12, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Duane in Philly

    I agree that the damage has been done, but don't blame Hillary Clinton. The damage has been done because of the insane democratic process to nominate its candidate, back-stabbing ex-Clinton supporters, and flip-flopping superdelegates.

    May 12, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. John

    Rachel,
    What are you talking about? There is no need to spread false rumors like this one. Hillary's supporters already did a lot of unjustified damage (Obama is muslim, etc). You and your candidate don't know how to lose graciously. Also the same thing applies to you: don't allienate Obama supporters.

    May 12, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  14. quan

    If it had been a Hillary / Edward ticket ... none of this split within the DEM party will be taking place ... and in a year where the DEMS are favorite, this will be good way to lay the ground for a BHO ticket in 2012 or 2016.....but alas, the BHO lad (and all his liberal puppeteers like Kerry and Kennedy cannot wait to have their vengeance in 2008)...Bumper, such as waste 😦

    May 12, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. Pamela

    Edwards decides to speak out in the 11th hour...

    Edwards is not neural. I really like Edwards but am dismayed that he has not come out and took a stand for one candidate. Now Obamas probably going to be the nominee and he still won't "support" him. I would respect him more if they just came out and said they support Clinton, because him and his wife seem to publicly speak so favorably of them with barely a mention of Obama as in this interview.

    Why doesn't he endorse Obama, since he is the front runner now and Edwards himself admits the game is basically over? It looks really bad in my opinion that he does not and what does support this late in the game even mean. Can he be quiet already? I had expected him to take a public stance before, now his words don't matter and to say that Clinton should be careful, well we all know this already.

    May 12, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  16. Ohiovoter

    I hope Obama wins because then President McCain will get a lot of Republican AND Democrat votes! Woooo hoooooo!

    MCCAIN 08

    May 12, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  17. Chris P.

    It is time for Hillary to get out of the Primary Race and get 100% behind Obama. She is delaying the General Election Campaign for Obama, and giving John McCaina a free ride to lie and make mistakes as the press is off him,a nd ion the Democratic contest.
    If Hillary loves our Party and the US she will get behind Barack Obama.
    She tried, and she lost fair and square. She had all the money, and mismanged her strategy with no plan post Super Tuesday. This cost her the election, so face it and get on board with Obama!

    May 12, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  18. Steelers

    People referring to needing a president with experience but what most people disregard is leadership. The best leaders in business don’t know every single piece of the business nor do they claim to know every piece. They put the best people in the best place to make an overall exceptional functioning machine. That’s what Obama will do and change the politics of old.

    May 12, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  19. Voter

    Freida NYC- I agree and I'm following you–if Hillary doesn't pull out a miracle. Remember not voting in November only takes away one vote from Obama. But voting for McCain not only takes the vote from Obama but gives it to McCain...so your one vote can make a 2 vote difference.

    May 12, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. Bratt

    HRC's only goal is to DESTROY her party and Obama... SHE WILL BE REMEMBERED as the EVIL!! She lost every chance to be elected for anything FOREVER! That's the end of Clintons era!!!

    May 12, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. Michael, an indepedent

    I'm sorry to say that the damage has already been done. The many weeks of relentless attacks by Hillary has made Barack almost unelectable. Just look at the nasty comments of both Clinton and Obama supporters on CNN blogs (and other blogs).

    If Obama wins the nomination, Clinton will have to pull a few miracles to get supporters to back Obama (and show up to vote).

    How has Clinton tried to defeat Obama? You have to divide (in this case, the Democrat party) and conquer a person who is trying to unite!! And, Hillary certainly has succeeded in dividing the Democrat party for her own gain.

    May 12, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  22. Nando, Florida

    stupid is as stupid does!!!

    May 12, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  23. Abe Schenck

    just endorse Obama and help end this thing quickly!

    May 12, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. Marc

    I'm a little sick of hearing all these comments about Hillary's supporters, specifically the West Virginians, as being stupid and uneducated. It's true that the demographics of the educated and well-to-do go for Obama and the blue-collar folks go for Hillary. Think for a second why that is. Blue-collar people have very different concerns than the elite. Of course you can be for "change" and doing away with the "old politics" when filling up your tank and putting food on your table is not an issue. These candidates appeal to different people for different reasons but it's foolish to say one demographic knows what's best for everyone.

    May 12, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  25. GET LOST

    HRC get lost already. It is over!!!
    I find it funny that hrc supporters will vote for her but not contribute to her campaign. All these voters who are against Obama who say they will not vote for him. Who are you really hurting if you vote for McCain. Hillary should quit and let the democrats begin taking on this new journey.

    May 12, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
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