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. Susan

    Thank you very much. At least you know the damage McCain will cause following the rules set forthe by Bush-Cheney! OBAMA 08!!

    August 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. INDEPENDENT NYC

    WELCOME TO THE WINNING TEAM FELLOWS; GLAD YOU COULD MAKE IT.

    obama 08

    Obama 08

    OBama 08

    OBAma 08

    OBAMa 08

    OBAMA 08

    August 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  3. Lisa M

    Time to do some research!

    August 12, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. James From Chicago

    Somebody should clue Obama if he dosen't put Hillary on the ticket as V.P. he is not going to win. People can say whatever they
    want about Clinton, but her 18 million votes would be a sure win for
    Obama.Obama supporters may hate Clinton, but if they want their boy
    to win the election, they had better hope she's on the ticket.

    August 12, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Walt, Belton,TX

    Hagel would be an option just like Biden, as long as integrity, strong support for the military and patriotism isn't considered vital..

    August 12, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  6. Mike, TX

    Well, at least Obama's looking for an adult to help lead him around. Hagel would be a safe choice, as he is not running for re-election and has nothing to lose. His defeatist / retreatist stance on international terrorism plays will with democrats and hostile powers. I'm sure Obama's masters would be pleased.

    August 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Texas Trail Dog!

    He shouldn't seek a third term in fact his future as a politician is over with. Even to entertain the notion of running with OBAMA would be a disaster for any candidate.

    August 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Debby

    I have to laugh at all these behind the scene Repbulicans wanting the spotlight to rock the boat because they were a failure in their own party.

    August 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Tony

    ALWAYS SAID IT SHOULD BE JOE BIDEN OR CHUCK HAGEL.

    CHUCK HAGEL WOULD BE A SUPERB CHOICE. HE SAYS HE IS A REPUBLICAN, BUT LIKE JOE LIEBERMAN, THEY SAY THEY ARE ONE THING, BUT ARE REALLY SOMETHING ELSE. IN HAGEL'S CASE IT SHOWS HOW INTELLIGENT HE IS.

    GREAT CHOICE. WAKE UP OBAMA AND MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT.

    August 12, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Sarah

    It's funny, I had really just considered voting for Obama, against my better judgement. BUT then I got back on these message boards and remembered one of the reasons I was so dead-set against Obama.
    Anyone who can inspire such hatred in so many people, should not lead this country. Obama supporters are the most mean, nasty, and hateful people that I have ever had the mispleasure of encountering.

    August 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. Kevin

    Just goes to show how two-faced politicians are, ALL politicians, including Obama!

    August 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Lori from Indiana

    Hey I am sorry but everyone acts like Obama has won already..well sorry but thats not the case...I will not vote for him..He twists the words around to what you want to hear just like everyone else and frankly I do not trust him. I think he would be the wrong one to represent this country..I say do a write in vote and write down Robin Williams he is just as capable as the other 2 comedians running if not better at least he would probably be honest.

    August 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. ade

    It is obvious why Senator McCain's party leaders are ditching him for Obama. McCain has nothing to offer, but the same old stuff: war (years in Iraq, 'bomb, bomb, bomb Iran), tax breaks for the rich, more power to washington lobbyists etc. Away with the old way of doing things, lets usher in a new way: Obama 08

    August 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Eric

    Chuck Hagel would be an unbelievably GOOD choice. If that's Obama's pick, he proves to me he knows what he's doing and is serious about winning.

    August 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. Len in Washington

    So, Sen McCain, how are you going to spin this? Another Republican for Obama. Seems you're having a REAL problem with your base.
    Perhaps that's why you're trying so hard to win the Independant voters.

    Hagel seems to be a person who can think for himself but I agree that his positions on a woman's right to chose and gay issues would be a problem for Obama's Campaign.

    Thanks anyway!

    August 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Janice Hough

    Hagel would be a fine secretary of state. But he is not pro=choice. That is something I am afraid few women, including myself, could overlook.

    August 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. JO-ANN FROM NEW YORK

    EVEN REPUBLICANS DON'T WANT JOHN MCCAIN....WAKE UP PEOPLE....THIS SHOULD TELL YOU SOMETHING....

    OBAMA '08

    August 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. California Voter

    This didn't seem to work well with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson . .

    August 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Chris, Antioch, CA

    Biden would make much more sense here. I like Hagel, unless he starts talking about taxes, abortion, the environment, education, etc. etc. etc.

    August 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    I think its a pretty good idea to pick up a Republican for a VP or at least for a prominent role in the Cabinet. Washington and Lincoln both filled their respective cabinets with people they disagreed with on many key issues. Washington and Lincoln had the humility to accept the fac that they probably not correct on every issue, and more importantly, not the most knowledgable of every issue. Both Presidents made policy by debating intelligent advisors rather than the Yes-men we have seen in Bush and even Clinton's Cabinets.

    August 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Bendo

    Obama should use the Russian/Georgia conflict to lay out his new non-idelological foreign policy to deal diplomatically and effectively with world hot spots. Our military needs to withdraw and retool and rest. We cannot respond militarily now in Georgia against the Russians because we do not have the military power to do so. This is exactly why we must reverse the course w and the neo-cons have done in the last 8 yrs. Dealing with China and Russia are more of a threat to the US long term interests that Iran or Iraq, we need level headed people in the WH not another war monger in Mclame, more of the same of w, cheney, rice ect.

    August 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  22. Last Honest man

    Please pick Hagel. Pleeeeeease

    August 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Rob Johnson

    Considering that Obama has lost his "outside the box" credentials recently with very political moves on some issues, this would be a good way to remind everyone that he isn't a typical Democrat.

    Hagel is a decent man, a Republican with a military record at least as impressive as McCain's, and could help put Nebraska and Kansas in the Obama column.

    I can think of much worse choices...

    August 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. AL in West Palm Beach, FL

    Who said endorsements don't mean a thing.... From a republican to a democrat is more impressive than from a democrate turned independant to a republican.... Hmmmm

    August 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. The Bush Twins : George and John

    I think Chuck Hagel would be an outstanding pick for VP !!

    Obama / Hagel '08

    August 12, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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