May 16th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Edwards flatly rules out running with Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="An Obama-Edwards ticket 'wont' happen.'"]

(CNN) - Seeing John Edwards and Barack Obama on the same stage earlier this week left political pundits buzzing: Could these two be an unbeatable presidential ticket?

They appeared to have natural chemistry - something Edwards and then-Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry seemed to lack in 2004 - and the former North Carolina senator remains popular among a key demographic that has been reluctant to support Obama - working class white voters.

But Edwards flatly said Friday, as he had before he endorsed a candidate, that he's not interested in making a second run for vice president.

"No," Edwards said in no uncertain terms on NBC's the Today show when asked about the possibility. "Won't happen.…It's just not something I am interested in."

As for another position in an Obama administration, specifically Attorney General, Edwards was decidedly more coy.

"I don't really want to get involved in that speculation," he said. "Right now we have to focus on getting Barack Obama elected to President of the United States, then we’ll worry about those things."

Edwards formally endorsed Obama Wednesday evening, the day after Clinton scored a 41 point victory over the Illinois senator in West Virginia. Edwards also said Friday the timing of his announcement was not specifically designed by the Obama campaign to direct the media coverage away from the New York senator's win.

"That's not true," he said. "I know it's not true because I am the one who made the decision about when to do this. I believe this was the right time to do it. I made a decision that the public should know at this point my view."

soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. Janet, Pa., via Toronto

    Surely, Obama will discuss with Edwards the Department in which both would agree, in his Edwards devotion to the American People.

    May 16, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. steve dumford, Scotts valley ca.

    Don't understand the timing, right after Hillarys' West Virginia landslide. Takes the emphasis off her big win and puts it back on Obama. John Edwards was actually my first choice but I think this timing was poor judgement on his part. I know he doesn't have to worry about affording health care for his wife, but Obamas heath plan only mandates health care for children. What about universal health care for adults? I have HIV and won't be able to afford the tremendous costs of my healthcare. Guess if Hillary doesn't win I'll just have to do without and go ahead and die.

    May 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Christine V from Dallas, TX


    You will see how you do not matter! You will now see how the general elections has now been handed down to McCain!!! Cant stand it???

    With Hillary's folks not behind you and the republicans bashing you and your PRODUCT will lose...and you deserve it...

    even if Hillary begs us to support obama(especially if she is not vp) ...even as we respect her...WE WILL NEVER VOTE FOR HIM!

    like I said before I have a Savior...and it is not OBAMA!

    May 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Jane L.

    Obviously, there's something else in it for Edwards. We'll find out soon enough.

    May 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Real Dem

    Well at least he's on the right team. Anyway, this discussion about going for McCain if hillary doesn't get the nomination is really stupid. Even HILLARY said so herself. If your a democrat and you won't vote for one or the other (Hillary or O'bama) then maybe you deserve the high gas prices, high food prices, the chance to lose your home, having your son/daughter/relative in Iraq and the loss of your job. Maybe then and only then will you see the error of your racism and stupidity of having another 4 years like the last 8. Stop being prejudice.

    O'bama 08

    May 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. Obama/Edwards '08

    They usually say they don't want it until the job is offered to them.

    They look like a power team, I hope that he is offered the job.

    May 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. cd

    The Truth, it's nice to see that racism is still running rampant in this nation. You make me, and every other true American sick with comments like yours; Obama supporter or not. Do you really think that Clinton or McCain share your same views? You need to really examine your thoughts and realize you are a truly disturbed person.

    Anybody but McMain '08

    May 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Miller

    Go Hillary. If not Hillary then McCain.

    May 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Republican for Obama

    Republican for Hillary, you are wrong.
    Independents will not vote for a Clinton, again.

    bush (vp), bush (vp), bush, clinton, clinton, bush, bush = 28 YEARS OF BUSH/CLINTON IN THE WHITE HOUSE!

    Mcbush would be another 4 making it 32 YEARS!
    Clinton would be another 4 or 8 making it 32 to 36 YEARS!

    Obama 08, change!

    May 16, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Sheila

    What do you think of the timing behind Edwards' sudden support for Obama? Didn't he say the day before that he would wait before deciding who to back? That he would listen to the voice of the people?

    Hmmmmm -- something more is afoot here. Sen. Clinton's clear victory in West Virginia cannot be ignored, and certainly shouldn't be ignored by her contemporaries in the Party. That is the voice of the people in that State and elsewhere. I'm a bit confused over Edwards' move. Guess he can change his mind when the circumstances don't look as good for Obama, can't he?

    May 16, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Jan

    We mean it. We're moderates, not liberals. McCain is moderate. This is why Hillary would have won in Nov. Liberals do not get elected in the GE's. We've learned from the hell of the Carter years.

    May 16, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Billy Gibbons in Houston

    I must give credit to Edwards.
    He's smart enough not to tie his political future to an "unknown" like Barack Obama. He already has a cushy Senatorial gig and is still young enough to wait for a stronger candidate (or run himself) in 2012 or 2016.

    May 16, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Peggy

    Obama’s Church Printed Pro-Hezbollah Articles
    Given the current news out of Lebanon it might be timely to point out that Mr. Obama’s church and his “spiritual advisor” the Reverend Doctor Jeremiah Wright were firmly on Hezbollah’s side during Israel’s limited incursion into Lebanon two summers ago.

    From the July 30, 2006 edition (pdf file) of Trinity Church’s Trumpet newsletter

    May 16, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. La Raza.

    Where is Osama Bin Laden?

    May 16, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  15. v.ananthan



    WSJ: Obama's Strategy for Low-Turnout Caucuses Helps Drive Delegate Edge
    For evidence of the strategy that has made Barack Obama the likely Democratic presidential nominee, look at Nebraska, where the candidate narrowly won a little-noticed primary Tuesday. Sen. Obama's 49% to 46% victory barely got any attention from the campaigns or the press, because the state's delegates, who vote on the nomination, were chosen in a February caucus.


    SHAME ON YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    May 16, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. at

    I am glad that issue is set. Mrs. Edwards is a liability to her husband.

    May 16, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Tawny

    Jenny I couldn't agree with you more!!!! It just goes to show the Hillary supporters don't know what they want.

    May 16, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Elizabeth

    It's pretty clear that Edwards - a very good and 'scrappy' trial lawyer - chose this time to make the endorsement because of the tone HRC took in her still-defiant, still I'm-a-winner-and-he's-not speech following her WV victory. She couldn't win, even then, and prolonging the fiction was hurting the party. So Edwards stepped in - very appropriately and effectively.

    VP? Biden would be the best choice, with Edwards for AG. He is an incredible trial tactician – you could even see it in the debates.

    May 16, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  19. MJ, NYC

    That's just what I had been thinking...John Edwards – AG, Bill Richardson – Sec of State, Jim Webb – Sec of Defense, Joe Biden – Senate Majority Leader and that female governor from Kansas??? Yikes, I forget her name! But her for V.P.

    I'm a woman and I think women in general are great but I won't settle for just any woman. I'm not happy about Condi and I wouldn't be happy about Hill.

    May 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Carol Schleich

    I resent John Edwards' endorsement of Barack Obama less than 24 hours after Hillary Clinton's victory. Why couldn't the voters of WV be allowed to feel that their votes mattered? Why couldn't the Clinton campaign savor their victory?

    This campaign just might force me out of the Democratic party. If Obama gets the nomination, I might not vote this fall.

    May 16, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. Mike

    A deal has obviously already been struck between Obama/Clinton/DNC for Obama and Clinton to run together. What I saw was three events that told me this is happening and then subsequent events. All around the same time Edwards endorsed Obama, Obama and Clinton signed agreements with the DNC to put campaign money in for the general election, Hillary in a CNN interview practically endorsed Obama and defended on every issue. Also she was heavily trying to convince her supporters not to go to McCain.

    Hillary is not pushing for any more debates or pushing for money anymore hard. I think she is going to play out the last remaining primaries, concede to Obama and then Obama will announce she is his running mate.

    I think the deal struck was that Hillary would get to design her healthcare plan and Obama would implement some of her economic measures. Hillary getting to do her healthcare plan is more important to her than the presidency.

    I think with those factors you are going to see Obama/Clinton running together very soon.


    May 16, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. To Chris in Middleton

    Chris in Middletown. I produce medical exhibits for court cases like Edwards took on. You should be VERY thankful that some of the things I see daily do not happen to your family. You should also be THANKFUL there are trial lawyers (not ambulance chasers) like Edwards out their fighting for people and their injuries.
    Some things are just awful. Don't ever feel sorry for the Insurance Companies, or the Dr.s that get sued from time to time. MOST and I mean MOST cases that get to trial are VERY legitimate and also very sad. Picture the doctor taking out your wife's bladder instead of her uterus, picture your child being sent home 5 times from the ER to end up dying at home from a ruptured bowel, after a simple test could have confirmed the proper diagnosis and wasn't done b/c insurance said no….I could go on forever, but just be thankful for the lawyers like Edwards.

    May 16, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  23. Florida-livin

    I am for anyone who wants solve amercias problems. Barack if you have noticed is putting good people around him and will help his decision making. Independent thinking to get this country on the right track. HRC is viable and brings alot as VP and another cabinet postion. think of your situations and your kids before voting for something you really don't believe. Come on Florida get behind Democratic Party. Gov Christ caused the delegates not to count. Not Obama. Enough with that hating people etc... Americans are smarter and bigger that that. Go.. Dems..

    May 16, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  24. Michael in MO

    Obama is an absolute disgrace. He has proven himself time and again to be racist, sexist, and a pathological liar. And Edwards is supposed to have any clout in swaying public opinion? Sorry fellow dems, but as it appears the media and their created Obamabots have picked Barry to be the nominee, this life-long dem will be voting McCain in Nov. Of course, you will hear the official request from Hillary to be party loyalists and get behind Obama. She has no choice but to say this. We however, do not have to fall in-step to appear politically correct. Millions and millions of fellow dems will be voting as independents to make certain Obama does not win the presidency. And mark my words, we will see to it that he does not make it to the presidency. This is not about party loyalty, this is about doing the right thing for our country, our future. No one is more qualified on the political stage right now than Senator Clinton. WRITE HER IN OR VOTE FOR MCCAIN!!! Either way, NOBAMA!!!!

    May 16, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  25. james

    politic......but i wouldn't doubt hill being on the ticket,..she earned it

    May 16, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
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