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(CNN) -- Former U.S. senator and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards admitted Friday to an extramarital affair. He denied being the father of the woman's child, as had been alleged in tabloid reports.

Former Sen. John Edwards told ABC News that he had an affair with Rielle Hunter, seen above.

"In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs," he said in a written statement. "I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness."

In an interview set to air Friday night on ABC's "Nightline," Edwards acknowledged the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter, which began after she was hired to make documentary videos for his campaign, ABC said.

"You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help," he added in the statement. Read the full statement

He said he has not taken a paternity test but that the timing of the affair rules out the possibility that he could be the father of Hunter's 5-month-old child. Edwards said Friday night he is "truly hopeful" that a paternity test will be done to squelch the rumors.

Andrew Young, a former Edwards campaign aide who is married, has publicly said he fathered the child. The Washington Post reported Friday that Hunter acknowledged Young as the father.

When the tabloid the National Enquirer first reported the affair in October, Edwards flatly denied it, calling the claims "false" and "ridiculous." Watch an interview with the National Enquirer's editor »

Contacted through a former aide by CNN on Thursday, Edwards had refused to comment on the reports. He also dodged reporters at a recent event in Washington.

In a July 24 appearance in New Orleans, Louisiana, he would not answer a reporter's question about whether he had provided financial support to Hunter or Young. Watch Edwards says "I sin every single day" »

"I have no idea what you're asking about," Edwards said. "I have responded to, consistently, to these tabloid allegations by saying I don't respond to these lies."

Edwards, 55, of North Carolina, told ABC that his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members have known about the affair since 2006.

Elizabeth Edwards, in a posting on the Daily Kos Web site said:

"The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my [cancer] diagnosis in March of 2007. This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well.

Edwards, the vice presidential candidate during Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential bid, had been mentioned as a potential running mate for Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee this year, and as a possible attorney general or other high-ranking appointee if Obama wins the November election.

But Don Fowler, a former Democratic Party chairman, said this week that Edwards might be forfeiting a major role at the party's upcoming convention in Denver -- or in a future Democratic administration -- unless he cleared the air.

"I think the longer these allegations go unanswered and unresponded to, the more difficult it is for the people producing the convention to give him a prominent spot," Fowler said.

Fowler, of South Carolina, served as Democratic chairman from 1995 to 1997 and will be a party superdelegate at the Denver convention in late August. He said he had no input into whether Edwards addresses the convention, "but I would expect that he would not speak or have any role at the convention unless this is cleared up." Watch more on the Edwards controversy »

Obama, in Hawaii for a weeklong vacation, told reporters he understands that Edwards does not plan to attend the convention.

"This is a difficult and painful time for them, and I think they need to work through that process of healing," he said. "My sense is that that's going to be their top priority.

"John Edwards was a great champion of working people during the first of this campaign. Many of his themes are ones that Democrats as a whole share; those will be amplified at the convention," Obama added.

Presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain declined to comment on a similar question.

Speaking in support of Obama in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Friday, Edwards' former rival Sen. Hillary Clinton responded briefly to a reporter's question about what, if any, impact the revelation of the affair would have on Democrats.

"My thoughts and prayer are with the Edwards family today," she said. "That's all I have to say."

The Enquirer's claims about the affair were revived July 22 when the tabloid reported it had confronted Edwards at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel after receiving a tip he was meeting Hunter and her child there.

On Friday, he said he was ashamed of the affair and hoped it would never become public. He said he used the fact that the Enquirer story "contained many falsities" to deny it.

"But being 99 percent honest is no longer enough," he said in the statement.

Edwards told ABC that his wife's widely reported cancer was in remission when the affair began.

According to federal election records, the Edwards campaign paid Hunter's production company roughly $114,000 in 2006 and 2007 for "Website/Internet services."

The former North Carolina senator announced in January that he was dropping out of the 2008 Democratic presidential race.

"It is time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path," he said in New Orleans.

With his wife and children at his side, Edwards said he couldn't predict "who will take the final steps to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," but he said it would be a Democrat.

Edwards endorsed Sen. Barack Obama on May 14 during a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

He trailed Clinton and Obama in the early contests. He came in third in key races in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Edwards had campaigned on the message that he was standing up for the little guy, the people who are not traditionally given a voice in Washington, and that he would do more to fight special interests.

After dropping out of the race, Edwards asked Clinton and Obama to make poverty a central issue in the general election and a future Democratic administration, something both agreed to do.

Edwards is a South Carolina native with an undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University and law degree from the University of North Carolina.

Before entering politics, winning a Senate seat from North Carolina in 1998, Edwards was a lawyer representing families "being victimized by powerful interests" and gaining "a national reputation as a forceful and tireless champion for regular, hard-working people," according to his campaign Web site.
source

I was watching CNN and everyone and his milkman was offended and betrayed. For chrissakes, the only people that should feel betrayed is his family. My question is, why do you Americans get so upset over things like this yet completely ignore the news of a politician being indicted on corruption charges? I do not understand. :confused:
 

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I was watching CNN and everyone and his milkman was offended and betrayed. For chrissakes, the only people that should feel betrayed is his family. My question is, why do you Americans get so upset over things like this yet completely ignore the news of a politician being indicted on corruption charges? I do not understand. :confused:
Well, first of all...I beat you to it. Second of all, he let his supporters go out for him and deny it, just like Clinton. Third, he kept denying it. Fourth, he made a statement during the race that infidelity was a disqualifying factor. Fifth, in 1999 he made some pretty harsh statements about Clinton's situation. Sixth, he is the holier than thou Breck Girl.
 

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Well, first of all...I bet you to it. Second of all, he let his supporters go out for him and deny it, just like Clinton. Third, he kept denying it. Fourth, he made a statement during the race that infidelity was a disqualifying factor. Fifth, in 1999 he made some pretty harsh statements about Clinton's situation. Sixth, he is the holier than thou Breck Girl.
Yes he is a hypocrite and a liar, how unusual for a politician. However, why is lying about adultery by a politician treated more harshly in America than lying about anything else? In comparison, if he had lied about shady past business deals no one would care.
 

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I see your point rocco, but people don't like being lied to. I don't like being lied to. In the grand scheme of things, the affair is nothing, but I voted for that asshole in the 2004 Missouri democratic primary.

So has this affair in 2006, then runs for pres again in 2008? What kind of self-destructive arrogant ass thinks they'll get away with this in a tightassed country like America? To me, this is dumber than Clinton because if Edwards hadn't run again, we wouldn't even know about this now. No serious minded person really believed Clinton was loyal to Hillary from long before Monica, but a lot of people would not have suspected Edwards of the same thing. I didn't. And now he is creating 100 percent avoidable undertow for Obama because he is a selfish prick. I would LOVE to talk to John Edwards face to face.

Fuck him.
 

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Just out of curiosity, how many of you feel that the infidelity alone (not the lying about it) would disqualify him for the job? I mean he was doing this while his wife was recovering from cancer, which is pretty low.
 

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Just out of curiosity, how many of you feel that the infidelity alone (not the lying about it) would disqualify him for the job? I mean he was doing this while his wife was recovering from cancer, which is pretty low.
I don't think adultery should disqualify some one from public office. I think it's a sign of bad judgement and moral weakness though and should be considered when voting. The fact that this happened while his wife was recovering from cancer is pretty low. I do think that a candidate's professional creditials are more important than their personal life.
 

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:sleep: Not really any kind of news at all. He's not a sitting senator anymore, he's no longer a candidate for president, so who cares? If he were currently the Democratic presidential nominee, then that would be news. Now watch all those Republicans in Congress who gave David Vitter a standing ovation when he returned to Congress, get their diapers, I mean panties, in a twist over this non-news.
 

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He was, is, and will always be a steaming heap of decomposing moral garbage. This episode does not surprise me in the least. His family deserves better.
 

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For probably the first time ever (and quite possibly the only time ever), I agree with the basic premise of mfitz (although I'm sure for different reasons). Who cares? The only thing this does is remind me that I never liked the guy.
 

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I never liked him because he made his career as a malpractice litigator suing obstetricians for cerebral palsy, when the evidence says that only a very small percentage of CP cases are due to anything happening during delivery.

And that woman he was hooking up with is no prize either.
 

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I never liked him because he made his career as a malpractice litigator suing obstetricians for cerebral palsy, when the evidence says that only a very small percentage of CP cases are due to anything happening during delivery.

And that woman he was hooking up with is no prize either.
Ain't that the truth.
 

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And that woman he was hooking up with is no prize either.
Maybe she's good in bed. :lol: After all, if they couldn't be seen out together, what difference does it make how she looks?

The affair sucks, but it's not anyone's business. However, doing that while still considering yourself for office is pretty foolish and poor judgment. I've often asked who in this country would qualify to run for president considering the "tight ass country" (nice turn of phrase) and the total lack of privacy we have now? I'm sure if I ran, some piece of dirt from 25 years ago would be turned up to make me look bad.

OTOH, if we can ignore McCain's divorce so he can marry a rich, trophy wife, and Newt Gingrich's TWO affairs and divorces (including one where the church had to take up a collection for the ex because he refused to pay alimony or child support), I'm sure we can forgive Edwards' his dalliance. (I'm sure there's others to mention, but Newt came to mind quickest. anyone care to compile a list?)
 

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I'm sure we can forgive Edwards' his dalliance.
But what about the outright lies about it? After all, that's the only reason this is all over the news now. The affair stuff has been around for a long time but the admission of lying has thrown it out there on the front page now.
 

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the difference between now and 40 years ago is simply the media. half the presidents of the US have been womanizers in this century - but the media either turned the other way or simply didn't know about it, so they never had to answer questions about it with the public.

so, let's say one of the readers of this thread are in the same position... how would you respond to the question? I'd bet your response wouldn't be too different from his, so let's cut the crap...

and the real question is, does it really matter? in my opinion, what happened is really between he and his spouse, and he shouldn't be judged in way way by the media or us.
 

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so, let's say one of the readers of this thread are in the same position... how would you respond to the question? I'd bet your response wouldn't be too different from his, so let's cut the crap...

and the real question is, does it really matter? in my opinion, what happened is really between he and his spouse, and he shouldn't be judged in way way by the media or us.
My thoughts exactly. Are you sure that you aren't Canadian? :D
 

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But what about the outright lies about it? After all, that's the only reason this is all over the news now. The affair stuff has been around for a long time but the admission of lying has thrown it out there on the front page now.
Oh bullshit. The reason it's on the front page is because the suspicions have been confirmed and admitted to by Edwards. The American public loves a good scandal, and the scandal is the admission of the affair; not the fact that he attempted to do exactly what 99% of people in his position try to do every day: Find a way to keep his transgression from his wife and family.

The only people who give a damn about him lying about it are those hypocrites who would hold Edwards to a higher standard than they would themselves if they were in a similar position, and those politicos and observers who think they can get some political mileage out of the situation.
 

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J1ZU_lLz1g

John Edwards on infidelity during the recent primaries. Edwards begins at 5:11 and ends at 5:50

John Edwards regarding Bill Clinton:

In 1999, when Edwards was a senator, he said of President Bill Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky:

"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."
 
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