U.S. Presidential Election 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Edwards quitting presidential race

Former Sen. John Edwards is dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, CNN has learned.

Edwards has told top advisers about his decision. It is expected he will announce it at a speech in New Orleans, Louisiana, at 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Edwards had amassed 26 delegates in the race for the Democratic nomination.

New Orleans is the same city in which Edwards declared his run to be the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee.

Edwards' campaign Web site said he was to deliver an address on poverty and work on a Habitat for Humanity project in New Orleans on Wednesday.

Edwards has trailed former first lady Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in the early primaries, including a third-place finish in Tuesday's Florida primary, with 14 percent of the votes. He also came in third in key races in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

An Edwards aide said that he does not plan to endorse either Clinton or Obama, at this time, but he may do so in the future.

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.

Commenting on his New Orleans trip on Tuesday, Edwards said the city symbolized why he chose to run for president.

"It's a living, breathing example of the heart of my message, what I'm talking about," Edwards said. "I mean it's the failure of government to be there when people need it. It's a perfect indication of the conditions of poverty that exist in America."

In a reaction to President Bush's State of the Union address Monday, Edwards said, "The truth is that Washington is out of touch with what's happening across the country. Between now and January of 2009, Democrats must stand up to this president, stand up for what's right, so he does not continue to forget about the middle class in this country."

One Edwards aide said he is not dropping out of the race due to his wife's health. Elizabeth Edwards announced last year that her breast cancer had returned.

Edwards was John Kerry's running mate on the Democratic presidential ticket in 2004.