June 6th, 2008
01:00 PM ET
12 years ago

Edwards again rules out VP job

Edwards says he doesn't want to be Obama's No. 2

Edwards says he doesn't want to be Obama's No. 2

(CNN) - It may be time to take John Edwards' name off the list of potential vice presidential candidates.

The former presidential candidate, who was the 2004 Democratic vice presidential nominee, continued to flatly maintain has no interest in the job. Traveling in Spain Friday, Edwards told two separate newspapers it’s not a role he is willing to take again. (Related: The rundown on Obama's VP possibilities)

“I already had the privilege of running for vice president in 2004, and I won't do it again," Edwards told El Mundo newspaper. He also made similar comments to El Pais.

The former North Carolina senator's comments are his first on VP speculation since Barack Obama officially clinched the Democratic nomination. Edwards, who ended his own bid in late January , endorsed the Illinois senator's White House bid in May, sending the political world abuzz that the two could team up on the same ticket. (WATCH: Edwards endorses Obama)

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. (WATCH: Edwards' motives for endorsement)

But Edwards immediately sought to quell rumors he was angling for the No. 2 spot, telling an interviewer shortly after his endorsement announced that it "Won't happen…. It's just not something I am interested in."

But he has been more coy about serving for Obama in other ways, specifically as his attorney general.

soundoff (385 Responses)
  1. Brian Knoxville, TN

    Have we really lived through eight years of Bush only to play roulette now with the presidency of the United States?

    In 2000, Bush was an inexperienced and unqualified candidate with lofty slogans (“I’m a uniter, not a divider”), whose supporters voted for him because of what they thought he represented rather than because of anything in his career that suggested he was really qualified for the office.

    In 2008, Obama is an inexperienced and unqualified candidate with lofty slogans (“Change we can believe in” & “Yes we can”), whose supporters vote for him because of what they think he represents rather than because of anything in his career that suggests he is really qualified for the office.

    The Republicans got lucky with their nominee. McCain will bring the Republicans out of the wilderness of a 14-year tyranny of Neo-Conservative nonsense and its misuse and abuse of power (Neo-Conservatism, 1994-2008 B.I.H.). The Democratic leaders and the mob that they have stirred up for their own interests, on the other hand, got stupid. The bag of tricks that Obama used to weasel his way off with our party’s nomination–which he combined with some opportunism from among weak Democratic Party super delegates who want to diminish Clinton's power–won’t help him in the general election.

    By nominating Barack Obama through a shady process of selection conducted by party leaders, we have condemned ourselves to a lose/lose proposition. Even if he wins, we lose.

    Goodbye, my party that has betrayed itself and us all.

    Witness the Rise of the McCain Democrats.


    June 6, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  2. James

    Obama vs. McCain, why wait till August/October? That doesn't make any sense at all. Maybe YOU are hoping for some bomb to drop.

    June 6, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. What?

    an honorable name. other former candidates could take a lesson from this

    June 6, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Carolyn



    June 6, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. James

    One more thing, some of her delegates are already converting to Obama.

    June 6, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. Sue in MI

    Edwards would be an honest Attorney General, something we have not had in 7 years!
    Hillary would be a tremendous Sec. of State-an even more important job than VP.
    Re: the status of her campaign-Romney only suspended his campaign too-where's the conspiracy theory about that? You people have too much time on your hands.
    If you really want to worry, worry about this: Bush has had in place an Executive Order allowing him to declare martial law and suspend elections in the event of a national crisis. If you want to think about an October surprise-it will come from the White House, and it won't be pretty.
    Also, where is the uproar about his lying? More and more evidence is being produced about what they knew, when, and what they said in direct denial of the facts to sell the war! This is treason! You self-righteous Republicans who are on Clinton's case all the time about stupid Monica should be ashamed that there is any support at all for Bush...he should be in prison! IMPEACH NOW!

    June 6, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. Jayson

    Edwards is angling for attorney general, not vice president

    June 6, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |

    This may be his year to get into the white house if he runs, but regardless, I think Obama will give him a cabinet position anyway.

    June 6, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Joyce in Florida

    Well, this is no surprise. Hillary Clinton has EVERY right to keep her delegates intact. We still don't know what will happen in the near future but I still have hope that Senator Clinton will eventually become the nominee. There are still loads of stuff we DO NOT KNOW about Barack Obama. Only time will tell. Keep fighting Senator Clinton all the way to Denver. GO HILLARY 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 6, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Mike, Raleigh

    There is no future for Sen. Obama without Sen. Hillary.

    Sen. Obama needs to face reality.

    June 6, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Steve

    The Attorney General is the highest ranking law enforcement officer in the United States. John Edwards has no experience with criminal law– he's a civil lawyer. The AG must have a background in criminal law. He's not qualified.

    June 6, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. rusty

    Good decision Mr. Edwards for not contending for the VP spot with Obama. It will be devastating to lose again.

    McCain 2008!!!

    June 6, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  13. Marie in California

    I don't care WHO is Obama's VP....he will never get my vote. I have heartily supported Hillary in this primary, but even if she is the VP candidate, Obama still will NOT get my vote. It will go to McCain.

    Why don't I want Obama as president? No experience. No track record. Way too liberal. A bunch of lies and untruths. Rezko. Wright. Ayers. Pfleger. Farrakhan. Michelle the Mouth. And others...and more.....too.


    Also, I am totally disgusted at how the DNC and the MSM have hustled Obama into the candidacy. He didn't "win" or "earn" it....it was handed to him on a silver platter by the DNC and superdelegates.

    No Abomination in the Presidency!

    Join Citizens for McCain.....save our country from Obama!

    June 6, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Mikey, Scottsdale AZ

    Totally agree with EBC's comment above

    June 6, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Lynette

    Yes, John Edwards would be an awesome Attorney General. He has one of the best legal minds in the US and he would stand up to injustice any and every where he would find it.

    June 6, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. Belle

    I suspect Obama will have a hard time finding someone to run as VP; after all, he is less qualified to be President than most candidates. Few of those more qualified will want to be the underling of the less qualified. If Clinton agrees to be the VP candidate (and I hope she doesn't), it will be for the good of the country. Few people are that magnanimous.

    June 6, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. carolinas

    Hillary's cunning tactics to "HELP" obama in any manner is a dirty plan...otherwise, she was releasing her delegates just like John Edwards demonstrated. Obama has gracious act to meet her in private...but Hillary's gang is secretive, viscious, cunning and wants to steal his presidency through a very immoral way....shame on Hillary.

    OBAMA 2008..

    June 6, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. Kiah

    We get it! He's doesn't want to go down that route again. Let's MOVE ON CNN!

    June 6, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Minnesota

    I don't think Kerry would choose Edwards again......I think it has something to do with being phony.

    June 6, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Mcpoke

    Although John Edwards is a terrific person with a terrific story to tell, Obama must find someone best suited for him and his vision. The problem with picking someone who ran for president – Gov. Richardson too – is that each brings his/her own set of values to the table. Their own sense of where the country should be through their own eyes – that is what they each hoped would propel the nod for nominee. To ask Obama to take any one of the former candidates as a VP would put Obama's vision in contrast with the former candidate. Take Clinton as an example. Although both she and Obama's idea on health care is similar, their over all plan is different making one contrast with the other – a challenge to decide which is best. Thus, Obama needs to pick a supporter who shares the vision rather than contrasts it. I personally do not see any one of the Democratic candidates being picked as VP. Romantic as it may be to think otherwise, Obama will probably pick someone like him.

    And as for this "October Surprise" that a prior blogger wrote, the theory of that castrophic event happening is much like me telling anyone the world is going to end tomorrow at 2:44pm – it would be political suicide for Clinton to suggest anything like that and would run her out of the Senate and probably the country for ever.

    June 6, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  21. Susan

    I do not blame John Edwards for saying 'no'.

    June 6, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  22. Venus

    It's OK. John! Thank you for your love and support to Obama!

    Also – we know you will be working for Obama once he starts to select his staff!

    Best wishes to you and your family!

    June 6, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. Jenny

    I'm sad he won't do it again – THAT would be my dream ticket. Hopefully, he'll have one of the cabinet positions. We need him fighting for us.

    June 6, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Euphemia, Dublin, Ireland

    I would happily settle for Senator Edwards as Attorney General – just so long as he is 'there somewhere'. He is a gentleman who would fit very nicely into the Obama Team for change.

    June 6, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. Rick

    Good two pretty boys would not be good

    June 6, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
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