by Steven Ertelt
January 30, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — John Edwards ended his bid on Wednesday to become the Democratic nominee for president after placing a distant third again in another primary state. Edwards, who backs abortion, finished well behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in Florida and never captured a victory in any of the early battleground states.
"Today I am suspending my campaign for the Democratic nomination for the presidency," he said.
"It is time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path," Edwards told supporters in a New Orleans speech.
Edwards said he couldn’t predict "who will take the final steps to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave" but said he was confident it would be either Clinton or Obama, both of whom strongly promote abortion.
Both the Clinton and Obama campaigns released statements praising Edwards.
Obama said he "made a nation focus again on who matters" and Clinton said he stood "with the people who are too often left behind and nearly always left out of our national debate."
Some political observers had suggested Edwards would stay in the race and try to amass enough delegates to either be able to swing the election to one candidate, likely Obama, or put himself in a position to be the compromise nominee or a running mate.
Edwards placed second in Iowa, but came in third in New Hampshire and South Carolina and finished with just 14 percent of the vote last night in Florida.
Edwards did not make an endorsement at this time but will likely do so in the future.
That goes along with the two-step method most departing presidential candidates are using these days to exit the race — seizing the headlines with a departure speech and regaining them with an endorsement announcement.
During the campaign, Edwards sought to align himself with Obama as the candidate of change and was more vocal in challenging Clinton. As a result, political observers suggest he’s more likely to side with Obama.
Edwards, a former North Carolina senator and John Kerry’s running mate in 2004, is a strong abortion advocate and compiled a pro-abortion voting record during his tenure in Congress.
Karen Cross, the political director of the National Right to Life Committee, previously told LifeNews.com, "Edwards has clearly staked out a position as a political leader of the pro-abortion movement, and he has plenty of company all of the Democrats mentioned as possibly presidential candidates have deep-rooted pro-abortion positions as well."
During his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Edwards voted against pro-life legislation at every turn — even opposing a ban on partial-birth abortions. He accumulated a 0% pro-life record while in the Senate, according to the National Right to Life Committee.
Edwards voted for taxpayer funding of abortions in various situations and, in March 2003, voted for an amendment that expressed the Senate’s support for the Roe v. Wade decision that allowed unlimited abortions and said the landmark ruling should not be overturned.
The former North Carolina senator also backed the pro-abortion judicial decision in a similar 1999 vote.