July 15th, 2008
08:10 AM ET
6 years ago

Reed says 'not interested' in VP role

Jack Reed says he doesn't want to be VP.
Jack Reed says he doesn't want to be VP.

(CNN) - He's making a high-profile trip to Iraq later this month with Barack Obama, but Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed says he has no desire to be the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate's running mate.

Earlier: Fueling VP speculation, Obama heading to Iraq with Hagel, Reed

Reed, a graduate of West Point has been mentioned as a possible VP candidate given his foreign policy credentials and bipartisan respect on Capitol Hill, told the Associated Press Monday being Obama's running mate is a "position which I have no interest in."

Reed, a two-term senator who is currently in a relatively easy race for re-election, also said the Obama campaign has not asked him for any official documentation pertaining to its VP search process. It has been reported that the Illinois senator's campaign has officially approached at least two candidates so far - Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd.

Election Center: Check out who's on the VP short lists

"There are people that are spending a lot of time, one, looking for candidates, and trying to promote themselves as candidates," Reed also said. "And I'm in neither category."

Reed is little-known beyond his home state, though proponents trump his working-class upbringing, heroic stint in Vietnam, and longtime tenure on the powerful Armed Services Committee as reasons why he could be a valuable asset on the Democratic presidential ticket. On the other hand the Rhode Island senator has a low-key speaking style, comes from a region that is already firmly Democratic, and likely wouldn't embrace the attack-dog role usually required of presidential running mates.

Still, Reed's name received new buzz late last week after it was reported he, along with Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel, would accompany Obama on an upcoming trip to Iraq. Hagel, an opponent of the Iraq war who has become increasingly critical of his own party, has said he would be open to serving as Obama's VP.

soundoff (376 Responses)
  1. Louis

    Yet another egotistical politician making a public statement to refuse a Vice-Presidency that has never even been offered to him by Obama. Give me a break.

    July 14, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  2. Xavier

    Guys,
    Everybody knows that all candidates say they are not interested in the VP job when they are asked about it. Funny how they all end up saying yes when the question finally comes for real. Its the ones who say they actually want the VP job that never get it. Remember Huckabee? All this nonsence of how nobody wants to be Obama's running mate is just very wishful thinking by some very small minded people who are Obama haters. McCain has also had his share of rejection. Rice and Jindal come to mind. Bet you that if the question came for real, they would say yes.

    July 14, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  3. Make Love Not War

    OBAMA HATERS = REPUBLICANS AFRAID OF CHANGE

    PUMAS = FAKE DEMOCRATS WHO HATE OBAMA , AFRAID OF CHANGE AND ARE PROBABLY RACISTS

    IF NOT HILLARY THEN MCCAIN = FAKE DEMOCRATS WHO HATE OBAMA, HATE CHANGE AND ARE PROBABLY RACISTS

    OBAMA 2008/2012

    July 14, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  4. Disgusted in Ohio

    Obamas supporters live and think in a different world than the majority of U.S citizens, that's a known fact that we all know by now. They have made it possible for yet another Democratic Presidential defeat come November. What a waste.......

    July 14, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. Audrey Kieger Morton

    The only way I will vote for Obama is if Hillary is on the ticket and if McCann picks Mitt Romney I would switch if the Dream Team doesn't become reality. Audrey

    July 14, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. jimmy velman

    HILLARY CLINTON FOR VP,.... OR SAY GOODBYE TO 18 MILLION VOTES ,...AND THE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THEM.
    NO OTER CANDIDATE CAN FILL THE VP SPOT AND BE ABLE TO DO BETTER AT FUND RAISING THAN HILLARY.

    July 14, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. Junis/Brooklyn

    ........it is apparent that the Clinton's are behind this effort to force Obama to choose Hillary. Why is it that everyone is refusing to be his running mate? If he picks her, I will not vote for this ticket. It is disgusting to think that they are forcing his hand to pick her. I am sick of hearing about the Clintons as if they are the "King & Queen" of the democrats. From where I sit, the democrats lack the testicular fortitude to stand up for what they believe.

    July 14, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  8. Teddy California

    There are reasons why quite a few people state they are not interested in the VP position, especially those from conservative regions. The expectation is so high. Most Democrats (over 70% I guess) believe they will win this year. If they do not win, the VP candidate will definetely have no future for the the national position because he/she will be blamed for the loss. If you are from a conservative area (state), it may also affect your future in the local politics.

    The best thing for being a VP is the possibility to become the party leader after 8 years. Of course, you can become the President if the President dies. But Obama is only 46 so it is a highly unlikely case.

    July 14, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Dmitriy

    Hmm...So many people are "not interested" in VP spot with Obama? They need to up the kool-aid dosage.

    July 14, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  10. John Smith

    Most of these folks who are saying NO are not even on the short list for VP. Is there anyone out there, besides the committee members, that really knows who and who are on that list as VP for Obama? The answer is - NO ONE. It is all about making the NEWS for CNN- period! Just listen to the Sunday news and you'll see the number of senators who are asked the same old question: are you interested? So, people, give it up!

    July 14, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  11. Lawrence

    CNN, wouldn't it be interesting to see how many people say "NO"!!!!! to McBush? I see another easy week for John due to lack of reporting from the Major News Networks.

    July 14, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. Charlinda

    Good, he looks weak.

    Obama

    July 14, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  13. buddy

    some please tell me why barack changed his name ?

    July 14, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  14. Tina

    MDB,

    Hey Genius!
    The max is $2500.00 not $250.00. Who's the genius again????????????

    July 14, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  15. Jim Melton

    Factual correction – Senator Jack Reed never served in Vietnam; he graduated from West Point in 1971 and then went to Harvard for his MPP, so the "proponents" touting his Vietnam combat experience is incorrect. Nonetheless, he's a pretty good dude, and I think would be a fine president (one day).

    July 14, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  16. Timber (ex dem)

    Of course he does not want it! Who would?! Obama is a disaster, they all know this. He is another George McGovern, heading for defeat (God, the democrats are SO good at that). Does anybody remember McGovern's running mate? LOL, did not think so. Obama is the Titanic and the rats are jumping ship.

    July 14, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  17. Angela

    As a HIllary supporter I had hoped she would be offerred and accept the job. But the way Obama keeps flip flopping on many issues especially recently the immunity for telecom companies and the Iraq war, maybe all these folks are thinking twice !

    I hope it is Hillary and I hope Obama does the right thing by Hillary and her supporters and also keeps his word , which would be a new concept for a politician if elected.

    This country is in bad shape and we are not whiners ( news to Phil Gramm and John McCain)!

    July 14, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  18. Marc PDX

    Seems there is some trouble in paradise. Those with experience don't want to follow the Messiah. Maybe they know he's not really the Messiah. Just a thought...

    DEBATE!!!

    July 14, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  19. Marc PDX

    @GM.... LOL! Yeah, I think the field is whittling itself down to a short list of Hillary and Edwards all by itself...

    July 14, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  20. Marc PDX

    Well, I'll give Reed a fist bump for that one...

    July 14, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  21. PUMA

    I’ve been suspicious from the beginning about the existence of ”PUMAs": Female Clinton supporters who are so bitter about her loss that they will throw equal pay, reproductive rights, the environment, and a chance at peace under the bus to get their revenge by voting for McCain. I’m skeptical even though they show up in comment threads all over the internet, claiming they’re real. I’m skeptical even though they wrote Rebecca Traister letters claiming that they exist. I’ve been suspicious from the beginning about the existence of ”PUMAs": Female Clinton supporters who are so bitter about her loss that they will throw equal pay, reproductive rights, the environment, and a chance at peace under the bus to get their revenge by voting for McCain. I’m skeptical even though they show up in comment threads all over the internet, claiming they’re real. I’m skeptical even though they wrote Rebecca Traister letters claiming that they exist.
    More

    July 14, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  22. Charles

    So apparently someone who was never approached to be VP and who never had much of a shot at being the VP has taken his name out of running to be the VP. This is about as news worthy as me taking my name out of consideration to be Pope.

    July 14, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  23. Marc PDX

    Everybody's gone. He'll have to settle for Dan Quayle! :)

    July 14, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. Dwight

    well at least Carol Mccain can get a better respect working for Obamas campaign.

    July 14, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  25. benvictor

    The party made a huge mistake in promoting this guy to head up their ticket. I cannot support this ticket with him as the nominee. And, I couldn't care less who would be his VP. I plan to support John because he has the experience, records of accomplishments, and trust of the American people. John offers hope for peace, prosperity, and security for this Nation. As a democrat, I have no other option.

    July 14, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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