The Edwards on 60 Minutes: Don't vote out of sympathy.
"Elizabeth Edwards: Cancer took a lot away from us a few years ago. It took a year of my life and a lot of John's. I didn't want it to take this away not just from me but from those people who depend on our having the kind of president he would be.
"Katie Couric: Here you're staring at possible death...
"Elizabeth Edwards: Aren't we all though.
"Katie Couric: And you're thinking, "I don't want to deprive the country of having my husband lead us."
"Elizabeth Edwards: That would be my legacy wouldn't it, Katie. That I'd... that I'd... that I'd... that I'd taken out this fine man from the possibility of giving a great service. I mean, I don't want that to be my legacy.
"Katie Couric: Politics, as you know, can be a cynical business.
"John Edwards: No!
"Katie Couric: You didn't know that?
"John Edwards: Yeah, I was not aware of that.
"Katie Couric: Glad I... (laughter) I’m glad I could teach you something today. Some have suggested that you're capitalizing on this.
"John Edwards: Here's what I would say about that. First of all, there's not a single person in America that should vote for me because Elizabeth has cancer. Not a one. If you're considering doing it, don't do it. Do not vote for us because you feel some sympathy or compassion for us. That would be an enormous mistake. The vote for the presidency is far too important for any of those things to influence it. But, I think every single candidate for president, Republican and Democratic have lives, personal lives, that indicate something about what kind of human being they are. And I think it is a fair evaluation for America to engage in to look at what kind of human beings each of us are, and what kind of president we'd make.
"Katie Couric: Some people watching this would say, "I would put my family first always, and my job second." And you're doing the exact opposite. You're putting your work first, and your family second.
"John Edwards: But this is not work. Work is what I did as a lawyer. This is service. This is... this is a country that I love – both of us love, as much as we love our lives.
"Katie Couric: I guess some people would say that there's some middle ground. You don't have to necessarily stay at home and feel sorry for yourself, and do nothing. But, if given a finite – a possibly finite period of time on the planet – being on the campaign trail, away from my children, a lot of time, and sort of pursuing this goal, is not, necessarily, what I'd do.
"John Edwards: Well, but we all... we are all different, number one. Number two, we all have a finite period time, and the idea that we know what that finite period is, is a fantasy to begin with.
"Elizabeth Edwards: We learned that in ’96.
"John Edwards: As we learned in 1996, with our son. We don’t know what’s gonna happen. We don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow. We have to live today the best way we know how. And that's exactly what the two of us are doing. I do think, though, that we have to be very sensitive about the tension that exists between our wanting to serve our country, and our children.
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CINCINNATI (TDB) -- CBS News now has some early video available of John and Elizabeth Edwards' appearance on 60 Minutes discussing the reappearance of breast cancer. An advance snippet shows her remarkably determined to keep the presidential campaign going.
Elizabeth is due at the Cleveland City Club tomorrow, March 26, and the Edwards campaign said Sunday she will be there for her address, which was scheduled before the diagnosis that cancer had returned.
The Edwards interview is conducted by Katie Couric, the CBS anchor who lost her own spouse to cancer. Couric asks Elizabeth about staring at the possibility of death, to which Elizabeth replies: "Aren't we all, though."