RALEIGH, N.C. – Former vice presidential candidate John Edwards (search) will not talk about whether he plans to run for the White House in 2008, but he is not pledging to stand aside if running mate John Kerry (search) tries again.
Edwards said in an interview aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that he and Kerry have talked often since they lost in November to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
He would not say if he'll follow the example set by Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (search), who was chosen by Al Gore (search) as the Democratic candidate for vice president in 2000. Lieberman said he would not run in 2004 if Gore wanted to seek the presidency again. Gore did not, and Lieberman campaigned for the Democratic nomination.
"Not only are John Kerry and I friends, our families are close," Edwards said. "I have enormous respect for him. But I'll decide what's the right thing to do based on what's going on with my own family."
Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, said his wife, Elizabeth, is doing well in her fight against breast cancer. He said he doesn't feel that God is testing him with his wife's disease or the death of their son, Wade, in a 1996 traffic accident.
"I think that this is just part of what you deal with in life. And the question is not how many times you get knocked down, the question is how many times you get up and come back fighting," he said.
Edwards said while his faith seeps into every part of his life, he is reluctant to make it part of campaigning.
"I think it looks political. It looks like you're just moving around for politics' sake," he said.
He applauded Iraqis for braving terrorist threats and voting for a national assembly last month, but said Bush administration policies have had a mixed effect in the Middle East.
"There are some things that are happening that are positive, and there are some things that are happening that are not positive. I mean, there is an entire generation of people growing up in the Muslim world who are faced with poverty and despair. And they're blaming us. I mean, we are a natural target. And George Bush has helped make us a natural target," Edwards said.
Rather than allow Americans to create private accounts with part of their Social Security (search) contributions, as Bush proposes, Edwards said he would roll back tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent of households and put that money into the Social Security system.