August 13th, 2008
06:15 AM ET
6 years ago

Former McCain ally touted for Obama's VP

,
 Hagel accompanied Obama on a recent trip to Iraq.
Hagel accompanied Obama on a recent trip to Iraq.

(CNN) - Former Republican Rep. Jim Leach endorsed Barack Obama's White House bid Tuesday, and said he hopes the Illinois senator considers a former GOP ally of rival John McCain as his running mate.

Speaking on a conference call with reporters to announce a new effort among Republicans in support of Obama's candidacy, Leach said he thought Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel should join the Democratic ticket.

"There are a number of impressive potential vice presidential candidates and this is a singular decision for one person, and that is Barack Obama," Leach said. "But personally I'd be hopeful in the list of serious candidates to be considered would be Chuck Hagel, whether it be for the veep position or a serious position in an Obama administration."

Listen: Republicans announce support of Obama

Hagel, who has butted heads with his party over the war in Iraq and is not seeking a third Senate term, has said he would consider a VP offer from Obama. But it remains unclear just how much of a consideration Hagel is.

iReport.com: Share your picks for VP

While the Vietnam War veteran would instantly add gravitas and bipartisanship to the ticket, his longstanding opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage would not sit well with the Democratic base.

Speaking on the conference call Tuesday, Leach also said Obama's record will resonate with many Republicans.

"I also have no doubt that a lot of republicans and independents are going to be attracted to his call for a new era of non-ideological, bipartisan decision making," he said. "While there've been a lot of flaws in this year's primary process, it is simply impressive how a candidate's unusual gifts have come forth with a singular commitment to recapture the American dream."

Leach, a Republican moderate who served as a congressman from Iowa's second district for 30 years, was defeated in 2006.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Chuck Hagel
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. Franky

    "While the Vietnam War veteran would instantly add gravitas and bipartisanship to the ticket, his longstanding opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage would not sit well with the Democratic base."

    So....it don't really matter. Look at Senator McCain for crying out loud. Unfortunately, he's not Big Red.....

    August 12, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  2. Tom(Texas)

    I think it should be a new rule that no Republicans get to say anything for atleast.. . . . .lets say the NEXT CENTURY! Seeing as how they picked the worst President in American History last election. I would rather hear nails on a chalk board than listen to some Republican talk about their vision of the future when their last vision put us in a deficit, lost 100s of thousands of jobs and hasn't made this country any safer.

    August 12, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  3. Kelvin Vivian

    Obama-Hagel '08!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 12, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. ClintonDem4Cynthia08

    What a brilliant idea! Lets have a Republican a hearbeat away from the presidency. This way, if anything happens we'll be certain that he'll vote pro-choice, for universal health care and for gay rights.

    OH PLEASE LET OBAMA PICK A REPUBLICAN!!!!! If anything, it will end his career! Lets pick a Republican over hundreds of worthy Democrats to be VP. FUNNY. This is going to be another losing year for the Democrats.

    August 12, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Matt

    I ask you: What has Obama, as a senator done to for Illinois or this Country? What has he personally done to help America? Anyone? Anyone?

    Obama is the MOST liberal senator in history. Anyone that tries to deny this needs to actually research his stances. One would think that the public would learn from their mistake in voting for more Democrats in Congress. Congress has the LOWEST approval rating ever. It's even lower than Bush's approval rating! And who has the power? Democrats. Think about it, people!

    It's funny, really. People that are for Obama seem to only be able to attack McCain with cliche plays on his name. Really? Is that the best you can do?

    What can Obama offer this country? He's changed his stance so many times on the Surge and Oil that no one knows where he stands. He talks about change. Changing what? Change it how? Ask questions before you actually cast your vote.

    August 12, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  6. Mary

    An anti-gay and anti-choice Republican VP?! Thanks for nothing Barak! Oh Hillary, why did you let Bill and Mark Penn ruin your campaign?!?!

    August 12, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. jimmy

    IF THE HILLARY SUPPORTERS DO NOT WRANGLE AND BE UNITED IN SUPPORT OF HILLARY MCCAIN WILL WIN THE
    PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. TROUBLED TIMES AND WAR AND A RESURGENT, AGGRESSIVE RUSSIA (LIKE THE OLD SOVIET OMMUNITS) REQUIRE THE ELECTION OF A MATURE, EXPERIENCED NEW PRESIDENT WHO HAS GOOD JUDGEMENT
    AND IS NOT AN APPEASER . MCCAIN IS THE MAN.
    OUR PRESENCE IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS NECESSARY IN TERMS OF A SMALL PEACEKEEPING, RAPID RESPONSE FORCE TO HELP THE IRAQI GOVERNMENT FROM COLLAPSING.

    August 12, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. AT

    This is an excellent strategy. I would not expect anything else from this campaign. I am praying for the best team. I wish Obama the best!!
    Obama 08-12

    August 12, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Ken

    Just one thing,

    Will the bitter and stubborn Clinton supporters who keep throwing around the figure 18 million stop already? First of all, many Clinton supporters have already crossed over to back Senator Obama because they have come to realize that he will do what is best for the country. Second of all, use your heads and look at the policies! Ridiculous. Go ahead, don't vote then. But if you don't, you have lost every right to complain about another Republican president in office.

    "18 million votes will not vote for Obama..."

    YEAAAA RIIIGHT. More like just you and yourself. Last time I checked, your vote doesn't count 18 million times. ADVICE: Get with it and quit whining about something that's already been decided.

    August 12, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  10. John

    I'd support Hagel for VP.

    August 12, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  11. johnny roy

    I still beilieve opposites attract

    August 12, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  12. Kj

    To all those who say you CAN'T be a republican and vote for a democrat and vice versa, please explain to me why registering with one or the other party leaves you incapable of independent thought and free will.

    August 12, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. KW

    Interesting idea. The problem is it still has OBAMA on the TICKET!

    With his latest flip flop on full votes for Florida and Michigan (uh – I live in Florida – voted AGAINST him) it only shows yet again that he is not to be trusted. I do not expect him to be getting my vote unless he is in the #2 slot and the nom goes to Hillary as it should have in the first place.

    August 12, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Nobama ideology

    Win , by any means !!

    He doesn't think there is any worthy Democrat left to be his VP :)-

    August 12, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. Sue,Texas

    Sounds good to me, theres got to be something to break this two party system that together has destroyed our American way of life. It's time for a unity that works for us all.

    August 12, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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