ABC: John Edwards Admits Affair, Says He Lied During Campaign

The affair that has been simmering at the National Enquirer has broke wide open.

EdwardsVia ABC News:

“John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extramarital affair with a novice filmmaker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News today. In an interview for broadcast tonight on Nightline, Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 44-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he did not love her. Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter’s baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test. Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby’s birth on February 27, 2008. He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.”

Comments

  1. the queen says

    “He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.” — you mean he pulled out before he shot his wad? or as a lesbian friend of mine once said “you can’t make babies from spit.”

  2. John in Manhattan says

    He didn’t love her. He was just fucking her. A class act.

    Yet another hypocritical tool who believes in preserving the sanctity of marriage by defining it as between a man and a woman (and, apparently, a vagina on the side to use).

  3. peterparker says

    Wow! He was my second choice for Democratic nominee (behind Kucinich). I am now *so* glad he didn’t get the nomination! Wingnuts from all over would never be able to get past an affair to vote for him.

  4. says

    I knew his affair was true when it was first posted obiquely by Sam Stein on Huffingtonpost back in ’07. Then when it hit the NE, the details were totally convincing. (The pic of him with the baby, I seriously question—why would he be in some sweat-soaked shirt???) It was sad to me to read the smart people posting at DailyKos doubting the story because of the source. The ‘bloids make up some serious shit, but they are often correct about the more hard-news type stories involving political scandals and health matters. “John Edwards’ Credibility’s Sad Last Days.” Plus he then lied about it. Plus he knew he had this election-killing scandal percolating and ran for prez anyway. Forget the judgmental crap, this guy almost threw his party under the bus. Clinton v.2.0.

  5. Derrick from Philly says

    Well, what can you say? Boys will be boys (straight or gay, or conservative or liberal)…and “queens”?…well, we just get slaughtered by a pack of teenage hoodlums and folks say, “well, the dirty pervert had it comin'”.

    Mrs Edwards is an even finer lady in my eyes.

  6. Buster says

    “…but said that he did not love her.”

    So she was just a fuck? Well that makes it better.

    What a douchebag! You can take the Southern frat boy out of the pussy, but you can’t take …

    I mean first, of course, who cares who he was screwing? To me, that’s only an issue (if it is) between him and his wife. And nobody else’s business unless he was lying about it under oath or something.

    But does he actually think there is a group of people who think the affair with Hunter would be wrong only if he “loved” her? (I’m sure there are LOTS of conservatives saying “Oh! No love … well, great then. My mistake. Sorry to interrupt.”) No wonder he can’t get people to vote for him if this is his sense of how people think.

  7. Mike says

    Well, the affair is between him and his wife and is actually no ones business. For all we know they have an open relationship. It is sort of disingenuous however to be against gay marriage because it doesn’t fit the “traditional” definition and then go out an have an “adulterous” affair. We all know that most of the folks who are against gay marriage have been divorced, have had affairs, etc. That is what makes the whole thing so stupid…

  8. Tim says

    What amazes me is that there are people actually saying this affair is none of our business.

    WTF?

    Clearly, if he committed a criminal act, that would be a story. But is that the only test for relevance? Are we not allowed to have ANY moral expectations of our holders of higher office?

    Personally, I think someone who cheats on their cancer-stricken wife, then has a frickin’ love child (like anyone believes his denials now), and then tries to cover it up, all the while running for PRESIDENT, should be thrown into the stocks and have rotten tomatoes hurled at him.

    PS Nice one, mainstream media. Thanks for aiding and abetting this scoundrel for all this time. No wonder we don’t read you anymore!

  9. Rey says

    Though you have a point, Mike, he did lie about it very recently to the public. Some (like I) would say, we don’t have a right to know what the arrangement is between he and his wife, but the fact is, any smart politician knows that people will stop at nothing to find out.

    So if a politician and his/her husband/wife do have a non-traditional (non-monogamous) relationship, s/he’ll need to be up front and honest about it from the beginning – or relentless/homicidal in keeping it secret. S/he’ll have to be a pioneer in that respect.

    Because people will find out.

    The only thing that makes me pause about this whole revelation is the fact that more than a few of the conservative people I know, including one of my parents and the parents of a couple of friends of mine, said they would vote for Obama instead of McCain only if Edwards were the running mate.

    I’m hoping they keep receptive if it turns out to be somebody like a Bayh, who I think might make the ticket a little more palatable to the clueless…I mean, undecided voters.

  10. paul says

    What a sneaky, narcissistic asshole! Aside from the fact that he’s a cheat and a liar, he was willing to get his party’s nomination knowing full well that this shit would be very likely to come out at some point. He would jeopardize the election for the Democrats to get ahead personally…with all the millions of people who put their time, energy and money into helping the party get a win?! He’s beneath contempt. POS.

  11. says

    Seriously, I want a big fat apology from John Edwards to the gay community for saying he believes marriage is a sacred pact only between a man and a woman.

    What a Republican thing to do, John!!

  12. Michael Bedwell says

    This is none of our business—including the ever Holier Than Thou Media—and I still admire Edwards in many other areas while feeling for his wife and daughter.

    As for “dodging a bullet,” comparisons with the Scandal of the Blue Dress, etc., in fact we can’t be certain how voters would have reacted were he now the Dem nominee. Even after all the fire and brimstone, the gnashing of teeth in 1998 and 99, after Clinton denied on TV that he’d had sex with Monica, then had to admit he had, and the 24-7 vampiric feasting on his supposed corpse by the media and Right Wing, the Wall Street Journal poll after the end of nearly a month of impeachment hearings showed Clinton with a 68% approval rating. Within a few days it had gone up to 73% approval, and he left office with the highest overall job approval rating of any President since WWII….INCLUDING St. Ronnie.

    Would that it had all never happened but I can never remember the American people ever showing as much common sense as they did then about what matters and what doesn’t.

  13. Jay says

    And his campaign was all geared up to to push the sensitive widowed father image that straight women are supposed to swoon over.

    Having a morally upright Democratic president will make such a welcome difference!

  14. the queen says

    oh honey, the media is having a field day on this and since you can only watch tcm for so long (it’s james garner day and tho i think he’s divine, westerns aren’t really my bag anymore) i decided to follow it and it’s a hoot — this woman called in on headline news and said that the media focuses on the sex scandals and the ensuing lies but doesn’t say anything when politicians lie to start wars — and the newscaster said thank you ma’am but this is not the time to involve president bush or the iraq war… hmmmmm…

  15. jason says

    Edwards is a buffoon. Wasn’t he reported once to be “uncomfortable” around male homosexuals? And don’t forget how he was against gay marriage. Typical hypocrite. He should have done more to uphold the vows he made to Elizabeth.

  16. ANOTHERDEMOCRATICIDIOT says

    Andy T.: you just discovered the Edwards affair? Why the delay in blogging about it? We’ve known about it from other blogs for months. When will you start blogging about the campaign ties between Edwards and convicted racketeers? And to think Obama almost was ready to made this clown attorney general. Did you know that Obama wants to end federal oversight of the Teamsters in place since 1989 to combat mob influence? At least that’s what certain Teamster officials are reporting.

  17. rudy says

    That this story finally is confirmed only affirms what I always thought of that supercilious oleogenous hypocrite. He has the temerity to judge my and my gay brethren’s relationships as less moral and therefore not deserving of full marriage rights/responsibilities while cheating on his cancer-stricken wife? He was willing to risk handing the election to the Repubs for the sake of his cock?

    He has revealed himself to be beneath contempt. Moreover, he then disrespects his mistress by stating that he may have fucked her but that he didn’t “love” her? John Edwards is a complete and total asshole. I hope Elizabeth throws him out of her house. She and her children deserve better.

    Thankfully, the delusional electorate was spared another Democratic debacle. I do not give a rat’s ass who any politician fucks(as long as it is by mutual consent and does not involve a minor); however, I adamantly believe that we should not be expected to tolerate imbecility that has political consequences. The issues are too serious to allow such juvenile behaviour in our politicians. We have already had too many frat-boy presidents.

  18. johnosahon says

    all i can say about this drama is THank the lord we chose Obama.

    this is a good opportunity for the democrats to remind the voters that mccain dumped wife #1 for his mistress cindy.

    just saying.

  19. RB says

    Rudy, you are definitely my hero! Even when I disagree with you on political issues, you hold my respect and admiration. Well stated….Edwards is an “ass”. And that has nothing to do with his politics!

  20. noah says

    The affair is between him and his wife. Why would he admit publicly to something that would hurt his ailing wife? Seriously, given his wife’s health issues, the stress of this must be incredible.

    Frankly, I wish that everyone would take a break and think about Elizabeth Edwards. This is a woman who has been not only a friend to gays but is battling cancer.

    We can bloviate all we want about how terrible John Edwards is but what about Elizabeth?

    The woman is going through chemo and cancer treatments while worrying about dying and leaving behind two small children. Now she has to face the media vultures who will all want to stick a microphone in her face.

    Taking pleasure in this situation when Elizabeth Edwards, a champion for the gay community, is suffering is pretty crappy.

  21. LOL says

    LOL. ALL politicians are the same. Scumbags at best. They’ll say anything to get your money for their campaigns and then Fu@K you in the end. Michael Bedwell I wish you would shut the F up!

  22. JT says

    Noah, thank you for your comment. It doesn’t make Mr. Edwards any less creepy, and certainly, if he was concerned for his wife’s health, he might have thought better (or thought, period) about having an affair. But the fallout will adversely affect someone who doesn’t deserve, and who may even be hurt in her recovery because of, the feeding frenzy.

  23. Paul R says

    For once in a very long time I’ve had my opinion of a politician shattered. I thought Edwards was a good guy, and this news makes that not true by any stretch. There are no politicians with open relationships. He was cheating, and on a very decent woman.

    He sucks. I’d thought he was a decent guy, and I was wrong. He has no excuse for the pain he’s caused his family or the potential demage he caused his party.

  24. Gerry says

    Edwards behaved DISGRACEFULLY and needs to be punished. If we all make excuses for this bullshit behavior, we’ll get more of this in the future.

    I hope Elizabeth Edwards is watching “Waiting to Exhale” and stuffing a voodoo doll with her hubby’s socks.

    Why can’t he be a fucking man and totally come clean? What an asshole.

  25. noah says

    Yeah, Edwards is a jerk for cheating on his wife. But get serious about all this moralizing. He cheated on his wife and not you or me. How many of you gave a thought to Edwards the day before yesterday?

    Cheating on one’s spouse is not the worst thing one can do. He didn’t beat his wife or kids or start a phony war that has caused hundreds of thousands of deaths.

    But Edwards is not an evil Republican who made it his duty to demonize gays and lesbians. Read is platform.

    If you folks want to become indignant about something, why not focus on the real criminal who have shredded the constitutions and are only to happy to demonize GLBT folks for political gain.

    This is trivial sh@t.

  26. anon says

    Apparently, he didn’t love his wife either. I can imagine that with $300 haircuts he loves only himself (this makes him an average politician and well-into-the-fold tort attorney). Of course, full-of-himself Newt Gingrich did the same thing to his sick wife and let’s not forget the incredible duo that are the McGreeveys. Yes, yes, Edwards was always the type to send himself flowers on Valentine’s Day, and that vanity probably made him all the more popular here on TR. Now a little secret, if you are a bigwig in DC and haven’t had an affair then people there think there is something wrong with you. It seems from the news that Democrats are more like to have str8 sex scandals and Republicans to have gay sex scandals–and in a lot of ways this makes sense, but it’s making is seem as though there are more gay Republicans on a national level than gay Democrats!

  27. JT says

    NOAH, seriously. You have to stop. You are making too much sense to me. You are making me want commit infidelity with you. I kid.

    Seriously for real. An infidelity is mostly the concern of those immediately and intimately involved. This sanctimonious outrage I am reading is something I find troubling. Tell me, is there anyone out there who might have had a personal, private indiscretion (or several) who, in his professional life, operated effectively, ethically, or even exemplarily? Any doctors out there who have frequented the baths (middle America HATES that shit) or hooked up after a night at a bar or whatever? Any teachers who taught in the morning after one too many at Wednesday Night Beer Bash (Hint: back in the day, I slept with you)? Is there anyone out there who cheated on a partner (or committed ANY questionable act) yet was able to fulfill the requirements of their job on a day-to-day basis? Oh, and here’s a good one: Anyone out there have fantasies that don’t involve their partner… and enjoy them?

    I “get” that people want integrity from leaders. But define integrity in real, human terms. He who is without sin and all that. In other times, other cultures, paramours were accepted, and expected. We live in interestingly dichotomous times; while emphasizing sexuality, pleasure, and self-interest, we still come screeching to a puritanical halt should anyone actually get caught being human.

    Honestly, I’ve felt disappointment with this news. I wish he was more hero and less human. But as Noah has posted, aren’t there transgressions by leaders directly affecting us that ought to receive your outrage?

  28. jason says

    On matters sexual, Democrats – and liberals in general – are hypocrites. They divide homosexuals into the “hot lesbians” and the “gross gay guys”. So much for equality. And then you have the hypocrisy of someone like Edwards, a man who has been reported as saying that marriage is a sacred pact.

    If you want to know why I won’t be voting Democrat, it’s because of liberals’ double standards.

  29. jason says

    Mark,

    I’m not necessarily going to vote McCain. We have to keep in mind that McCain will put in conservative judges to keep the right-wingers happy. Let’s not enable it.

    But I’m certainly not going to vote for liberals/Democrats. They are total hypocrites. When it comes to gay and bisexual men, liberalism’s attitude is best described as a phony acceptance based on segregation. They want us tucked away in the gay ghettos and not out there in the mainstream. We aren’t the “hot lesbians” or “hot bi babes”, don’t forget.

    Thumbs down to liberalism’s hypocrisy and thumbs down to its political embodiment in the form of the Democrats. They can have their “hot lesbians” but they sure as hell aren’t going to have my vote.

  30. says

    Noah and JT are right. Edwards didn’t cheat on us, and who really knows what goes on between him and his wife?

    It is still a major disappointment, because he was putting much more at risk than his own marriage, and THAT he should have known. Just think if he HAD been the presumptive nominee! Or had already been chosen as VP!

    But the sanctimoniousness is a little over the top, maybe because gay relationships AND gay sex are criticized so often we like to feel good about feeling superior to somebody else.

    And Jason, for the umpteenth time, the double standard you refer to is about sexism and is every bit as valid among conservatives as among liberals, among Bosnians as among Americans. So give it a rest. We ALL know about it. Go preach that line on some other blog, please!

  31. rudy says

    Oh give me a fucking break all you reverse moral sactimonious preachers. When an elected official cheats on his or her spouse he or she demonstrates that he or she does not take his or her responsibilities, vows, and promises seriously. Because Edwards cheated on his wife there is every indication that he would have cheated on other oaths he has taken or would take in the future. And he compounded his despicable behaviour by trying to justify his actions in saying that he only fucked her, he did not love her. What a miserable scumbag. It is precisely because I pity Elizabeth Edwards having to endure media scrutiny while she is fighting for her life that I find her husband’s actions so despicable.

    I’ll say it again: I do not give a rat’s ass who any politician fucks–as long as it is by mutual consent and does not involve a minor–but such behaviour becomes a political issue and disqualifying behaviour in my opinion because it self-brands the party as a liar and a cheat. Haven’t we all had enough liars and cheats as political officials? I believe it is a voter’s duty to “cast the first stone” by not voting for a political candidate who demonstrates by his or her behaviour that he or she cannot be trusted to abide by their word.

  32. JT says

    Something else that’s troubling (>cough< Rudy) is dichotomous thinking and generalization. A person is either good or bad, no in between. Someone who breaks one vow breaks all vows. It sure makes looking at the world easier, but is it true, or helpful?

  33. RB says

    JT, there are vows and there are “vows”! Does anyone remember the scathing commentary Edwards gave over Bill Clinton’s little trist with Monica or do we not want to remember?

    “I think this President has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen.”

    It must not have been “disrespectful for him to do the same to Elizabeth. Afterall she is not really doing anything other than fighting for her life! Slime…preach it Rudy, preach it my brother!

  34. JT says

    RB- Elizabeth supports him. Despite my disappointment, as far as their personal relationship goes, that’s the most important thing. Making this THE story of the moment doesn’t help her deal with her cancer.

    If you expect perfection from your leaders, or anyone, you will be disappointed. People are not only just the good that they do, nor are they just the bad. Think of the worst thing you have ever done. Is that how you define yourself, or would want others to define you? Is it truly a pattern, or a blip on the radar screen?

    Most of the people I have known in my life have done some pretty stupid things. Many are basically good people who have had lapses in judgment. I’m not one to throw the baby out with the bath water, as a rule.

    As for Edwards, I have no particular loyalty, and find the quote you posted quite interesting. The word “hubris” comes to mind. I expect, perhaps even hope, that those words will haunt him for some time. I just don’t want the fallout to fall too much on his wife and family. I also don’t put personal mistakes such as this, however foolishly deliberate, on the same playing field with the errors in judgment displayed by those currently running the White House. Maybe GWB can lay claim that he didn’t screw around on his wife. He sure as hell screwed around with us. And that pattern is entrenched and vivid.

  35. says

    you know, if we were in Europe, this wouldn’t even make the papers. America is so fucked up over matters of sex, we actually believe that somebody who gets laid on a regular basis isn’t capable of running the country. (And since we’ve seen how a eunuch can screw the USA, not to mention the world, for the past eight years, perhaps it’s time to take our collective heads out of our asses, people…) The United States of America is no longer a nation “of the People” but rather “Of People Magazine”. Tabloid culture and overfed morons have made our country the trailer park of the world.

  36. rudy says

    What is more troublesome to me (looking at you JT) is moral laxity, moral relativism, and a refusal to acknowledge the difference between right and wrong and then hold those responsible for their actions. The fact that we humans are all capable of lapses in judgment does not mean that I therefore ignore moral waffling by one who is asking for my vote.

    E.g, In a personal context, it was very clear to me when I was but 21 years old and discovered that a man I loved was married to someone else, that if he would cheat with me than he would most likely cheat on me. I broke up with him and it nearly broke my heart but some things, such as blatant hypocracy, are not forgiveable.

    That Edwards would cast a stone at Bill Clinton and yet do worse, I would argue, by cheating on his cancer-stricken wife, makes him despicable and unworthy of my vote. It is admirable that Elizabeth Edwards forgives him; she is obviously a remarkable person in that regard. That does not, however, mean that I must therefore vote for him. He has demonstrated that he is not worthy of my trust because he himself has de-valued his word.

    Just as I will not vote for crazy (can you say McCain) I will not vote for someone who thinks so little of himself and his vows that he breaks them with impunity. We all have standards, mine JT, are different from yours. That’s what makes an election.

  37. Toni says

    he had an affair, which sadly makes him human, and not the demigods americans hold politicians up to be. who cares? sheesh, with all the est of the crap going on, people are crying about an affair? how many of you would have been honest and admitted it?

  38. Dback says

    Here’s the difference between Dems and Repubs:

    When Democrats screw up, it tends to involve infidelity between a man and his spouse (just a few names: John Edwards, Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, JFK, FDR, etc.). This is not a good thing, no argument.

    When Republicans & conservatives screw up, it tends to involve people who are publicly homophobic and unsupportive of us, but closted gays themselves (Haggard, Foley, Craig, Curtis, etc.). This is a different kind of hypocrisy than “just” infidelity.

    Furthermore, as we’ve seen over the past eight years, when Republicans lie, even more than sex, they lie about money and who they just METAPHORICALLY screwed. We saw this with Enron, with the contractors in Iraq, and with any number of scandals that resulted in the rich getting richer while working-class Americans and people of color got shafted–via healthcare, via Katrina, via Iraq, via energy, via environmental laws, etc. (A few more names: DeLay, Abramoff, Taft, Lay…) It’s the difference between JUST screwing over one’s spouse, and screwing over a significant chunk of society to line one’s own pockets.

    Yeah, I know I’m making excuses. But of the two evils, I’ll still stand with the Dems. (And no, I’m not going to embrace ideological “purity” and vote for Nader, either.)

  39. JT says

    Moral relativism ain’t so bad, Rudy. That’s the argument I usually use when people tell me that being gay is WRONG, because there is right OR wrong and no in-between. Because what’s true and wrong for one person can be what is true and right for another. What is wrong or right might be so to varying degrees, or depend on circumstances (stealing the loaf of bread because someone is starving), and what is wrong may also be forgivable and need not become a person’s epithet.

    It would be wrong for me to cheat on my partner of 21 years. So I have not done so. I have been fortunate that while I have been tempted, I have never been tempted to the point of slipping, because I realize that under the right circumstances, I am fully capable, being human, of making a mistake. I won’t sit in judgment of others who make mistakes and whose actions don’t really affect me, and don’t consider myself morally superior just because I have been able to keep my promise all these years. I’ll save my judgement for someone who fucks me, personally and intentionally, over.

  40. JT says

    Moral relativism ain’t so bad, Rudy. That’s the argument I usually use when people tell me that being gay is WRONG, because there is right OR wrong and no in-between. Because what’s true and wrong for one person can be what is true and right for another. What is wrong or right might be so to varying degrees, or depend on circumstances (stealing the loaf of bread because someone is starving), and what is wrong may also be forgivable and need not become a person’s epithet.

    It would be wrong for me to cheat on my partner of 21 years. So I have not done so. I have been fortunate that while I have been tempted, I have never been tempted to the point of slipping, because I realize that under the right circumstances, I am fully capable, being human, of making a mistake. I won’t sit in judgment of others who make mistakes and whose actions don’t really affect me, and don’t consider myself morally superior just because I have been able to keep my promise all these years. I’ll save my judgement for someone who fucks me, personally and intentionally, over.

  41. RB says

    It is not so much the sitting in judgement that bothers me. Unless of course you are speaking of Edwards sitting in judgement of Clinton! I was a full on supporter of Bill until he lied under oath. To this day I am still struggling with that.

    However, when someone goes so far as Edwards to demoralize Clinton for doing essentially the very same thing I have to take a stand and call a spade a spade.

    While I was still trying to live as a straight man I never cast stones at those that were out. I did not publically judge. I kept my mouth shut. I never voted against gay rights and I never discriminated against gays in the work place. To me that would have been the equivalent of Edwards chastising Clinton! I do not care that he had an affair, other than it was during his wife’s fight against cancer. I care that he chose to so speak out against Clinton for no other reason than to get re-elected.

    I have no more use for this than the fact that he lives in the single largest private home in America and it was paid for by him suing every doctor and insurance company in North Carolina! He speaks of health care reform and he is one of the largest litigators of our times?! He wants to help all of us gain access so he can sue for malpractice! L-O-S-E-R! Sorry, he now commands even less respect from me than before. And I did not think that possible!!!!

  42. tom says

    Hell, I always thought he was Gay…didnt Ann Coulter infer that…

    Maybe this gal is a beard and he’s actually having an affair with Charlie Crist…?

    Ann Coulter is probably just a juilted, jealous anorexic bitch watching from the sidelines.

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