February 10th, 2010
05:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Kerry calls John Edwards' situation 'a tragedy'

Washington (CNN) – Sen. John Kerry, who tapped former Sen. John Edwards for the No. 2 spot on the 2004 Democratic presidential ticket, said Wednesday that he was "disappointed" by Edwards' political and personal downfall in the wake of revelations about an extra-marital affair and Edwards' recent admission that he fathered a child out of wedlock with his former mistress.

"Honestly, it's a tragedy," the Massachusetts Democrat said in an interview that will air on CNN's Larry King Live.

Kerry said he was shocked "and obviously disappointed."

"I think everybody just feels awful about it," Kerry continued, "in terms of their family, their relationship that everybody saw publicly, the promise, the hope, you know, obviously a capable career."

In the interview, Kerry also said that he has spoken to John Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, a number of times including very recently.

But, Kerry said he has not spoken to his former running mate.

"I have not. I have called their home, but I didn't know who would answer. I certainly was ready and willing and hoping to say a word [to John Edwards]," he said.

Kerry sat down with his wife, Teresa Heinz-Kerry, and CNN's Larry King in the couple's first joint interview since Mrs. Kerry announced she has breast cancer, a diagnosis she shares with Elizabeth Edwards.

The senior senator from Massachusetts also disussed the Republican victory in last month's special election to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, who represented
Massachusetts in the Senate for more than four decades.

Bucking the political conventional wisdom, Kerry called Scott Brown's win "very understandable."

"If you were up in Massachusetts as I was, you can feel the anger and the frustration that people have with Washington, with what's not happening here," the longtime senator said.

"Scott brown tapped into that," Kerry also said. "He presented a refreshing alternative in that regard and I think all of us need to respect that part of it. Now I wouldn't over-interpret what happened. It was still a close race. And if certain things had happened campaign-wise, maybe it would have been a different outcome."

Programming note: Watch the Kerrys interview on Larry King Live Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET.

Filed under: John Edwards • John Kerry • Larry King Live • Massachusetts • Scott Brown
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. j

    A tragedy and a disappointment but really, do we need to keep talking about it?

    February 10, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. charlotte

    Best wishes to the Kerry's as Teresa battles her cancer.

    February 10, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  3. las

    The situation that John Edwards finds himself in is not a tragey. It is one created by an egotistical man who risked everything for some sex on the side. He does not deserve our sympathy or our pity.

    February 10, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  4. Lance


    Really? You are going with irreprehensible?

    It's easier to just say you are a republican then make is guess by your vocabulary.

    February 10, 2010 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Michael from Ventura

    tragedy is KIND.

    February 10, 2010 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. Jim

    Hillary Clinton would have been president if we had known about Edwards and the media had done its job.

    February 10, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. grammar school

    joe kiloz: I think you mean "reprehensible." Irreprehensible means the opposite of what you think it does.

    February 10, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  8. JT the Show Me State College Freshman

    It is quite sad that most politicians, it seems, like do not focus on what is facing our country, but only focus on getting re-elected or elected. What hope is there for me, if there is no cooperation between the two parties that are in Congress at this current point of time. I think that both parties need to start the correct form of thinking to do what might not be too popular and doing what is right and necessary. To have a prosperous America again, we have to educate ourselves further beyond than we do right now; let me explain.
    Refrain from slang: Slang is an informal and sometimes private vocubulary that expresses the solidarity of a group such as teenagers, rock musicians, or supporters of any groups or organizations. Although, it does not have certain vitality, slang is a code that not everyone understands, and it is too informal for most professional, written work.
    Refrain from sexist language: Sexist language is language that sterotypes any type of gender of a human being. Such language arises from sterotypical thinking, from traditional pronoun use, and from words used to refer indefinitely to both sexes.
    Refrain from general steorotypical thinking: When you think or express your ideas in writing or in oratory manners, be sure to think them out clearly, professionaly, and in an intelligent manner.
    Most importantly, refrain from offensive language: Obviously it is impolite to use offensive language if you want to be taken in a serious manner. Here are a few examples I keep seeing: libtard, obummer, obambie, retard, and rethuglicans; that type of language is aweless, bad-mannered, contemptuous, impertinent, impious, and profanatory.
    We need to start thinking in a broad sense view of what issues and events that are facing the world; economically, scientifically, politically, psychologically, mythologically, legally, historically, cultural, and in a moral/ personal view of the world as well. If we do not edify ourselves to become more civilized, then we have only ourselves to blame for why we are in the dilemma we are in at this current moment. Think about this question: Do we have the moral obligation to leave the inner and outer environment in good shape for our children and grandchildren, or are we at liberty to use up all of our inner and outer resources in our lifetimes? It is our choice to make; lets choose wisely for our own sake.

    February 10, 2010 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  9. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Everything that is good to you isn't always good for you and this should be a lesson learned to all who think otherwise. Redemption day is surely to come.

    February 10, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  10. Slave labor toyotas are great,hahaha

    Its a story much like Toyotas.

    February 10, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  11. Mitt Romney rules!

    I'm not fan of either John, but I hope for the best for Teresa and Elizabeth.

    February 10, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. It has begun-

    If you liberals are so smart how come you cannot figure that for the over a year the Democrats had a FILIBUSTER PROOF majority in the House & Senate and control the white house, and therefore could pass anything their hearts desire and what they deemed was best for the American people even if they don't like it?

    How come there are so many uninformed morons here on CNN defending the President's failures and blame the Republicans?

    Liberals never accept responsibility for their actions. Obama could not even unite his OWN party. But it's Bush's fault or Republicans fault. LOL!

    February 10, 2010 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  13. proud mother and sister of soldiers

    It just proves the lack of morality in this country. What a tragedy for Elizabeth and her family as well as a waste of John's talents.
    Of course, I read several posts here that are as disappointing...lack of an open mind and verbal abuse towards anyone who disagrees with you. The devisive nature of politics in this country will be our downfall!

    February 10, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. Dave L

    It so rare to see a display of class and basic human decency in politics today, that Kerry's performance here is very refreshing.
    Massachusetts is lucky to have him representing them.

    February 10, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. billp

    I don't think Kerry meant it this way, but he was correct in calling the Edwards implosion a "tragedy." In the classic Greek sense of the word, "tragedy" means "a downfall brought about by a character flaw." That absolutely was the case here.

    February 10, 2010 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. Ned

    "Honestly, it's a tragedy," If this scumbags actions are in your mind a tragedy sir, then your poor choice of words to define what your old buddy was up to is showing how little you know of what words offend people

    February 10, 2010 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  17. ted

    It is a tragedy for Elizabeth Edwards, not that scum John Edwards. But Elizabeth will be fine. John apparently does not understand wedding vows. The jerk.

    February 10, 2010 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  18. LogicalSC

    Just to think that Edwards was CNNs and you Leftist's boy wonder just a few years ago.

    This disgusting man could have been Vice President.

    Good thing that you leftist reserved your vile hatred for the woman from Alaska for not killing her child like any leftist would have done.

    Can wait to see the implosion on President Palin's election.

    February 10, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    I typically vote Republican, so I think I'm going to sound odd at saying this.

    What Edwards did is quite sad..for his family. I'm not going to say it's okay. I'm not going to say if I was inclined to vote for him before that I would still vote for him.

    That said, I haven't heard a lot of people excusing his behavior. To say it's unfortunate, a tragedy, or whatever is the truth. Assuming they were friendly or a friend of sorts, I can see Kerry wanting to privately offer support.

    I'm not married, and I've never been involved with a married person. I can say though, when I have had friend betray their vows...it is possible to say..."I don't believe you made the right choice, but I love you anyway. If you need a friend, I'm here."

    February 10, 2010 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  20. Albo58

    Kerry is such a hypocrit! If Edwards was a Republican, the "tragedy would have been "a total disgrace"!

    February 10, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  21. GLO

    The destruction of a family, a promising career, and cruel heartache that Elizabeth Edwards has to bear in the remaining time she has is truly a tragedy. She should have been free of all distraction except to spend quality time with her young children and be made as comfortable and loved as possible. Her husband should have made it his top priority to be with her and prepare those children by assuming a greater, not lesser role in their lives. The people who are writing to complain about this story should just stop commenting if it's so tiresome for them. Lot's of people feel support for Elizabeth, and profound disappointment that they ever trusted the integrity of John Edwards. He was just and arrogant and vain man who risked all that was good and valuable in life, including his reputation, for a thrill seeking opportunist.

    February 10, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  22. John

    John Kerry was conducting an extra-marital affair of his own during his campaign for the Presidency. His wife, Teresa, found out about it on the campaign trail.

    But it was all covered-over and hidden by the media, who would have blasted it across the world if it had been a Republican candidate. This is ESPECIALLY true of CNN.

    John Kerry is a hypocrite for even referring to the Edwards' situation as a "tragedy" and a "shock" and "disappointment".

    February 10, 2010 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  23. Center left-out

    What's a real tragedy is the Democrats. Why have a majority if you can't or to scared to pass your Bills(Health care) or anything else. The Democrats will go down in history with the largest majority to do nothing.

    February 10, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. all the news that's fit to omit

    Actually NITWIT it is NOT a tragedy, what happened in Haiti is a tragedy, elitist, never worked a day in your life moron.

    This was humans LYING, CHEATING and COVERING UP their own doings and by the way NITWIT, he was your VP and uh, uh, uh ,uh uh, a DEMOCRAT.

    The MSM should be ashame for again MISSING THIS STORY when everyone on the "internets" knew all about it and uh, uh, uh "Fixed news" was reporting it all by itself in the MSM because they KNEW it was true and there were FACTS to back it up.

    Kerry, if WE don't impeach you for lack of performance before 2014, I will again vote 20 times (like I did for Brown) and get you out as LOSER, YOUR NEXT.

    February 10, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  25. slice

    Shocking!!!! yeah right- If he's republican than that is tragedy...welcome to the new party of power and fame. He's famous alright. That's why I love about America...shocking when its not and yet still tries to convince you/me that it is....what a tragedy... oops did say that. peace my friends, we still paying tax LOL! 😀

    February 10, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
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