August 13th, 2008
06:15 AM ET
10 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. 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. victor

    now that the america the world is looking for, go Chuck!!! help solidify the dream, I hope Obama picks you as his VP

    August 12, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Mike, Neb.

    DO YOUR HOMEWORK PEOPLE! I am from Nebraska and know how Chuck Hagel votes. Other than the war, he votes with Bush 95% of the time. He would NOT be a good choice for Obama's VP. He should not even be considered!

    August 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Vegas

    I like the non partisan idea...

    McCain/Clinton 08

    Would be a great move for her...

    August 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. mother from california

    You media/puma/republicans guys don't get it do you? This is a campaign paid for and sponsored by ordinary Americans so Obama is answerable to us first before the media; and that is how Obama will rule the country a government OF the people, FOR the people and BY the American people. GET USED TO IT
    McSame could care less about American jobs, so long as the war machine keeps humming. McWar only wants investment in war, death and destruction. McCain does not have anything to say even on his add. We know him always crying about media attention and when he has it he talk about Obama. Media putting Obama under microscope and they can not find anything and now all I see McCain TV add for free in all the stations. McCain is follower and Obama is the leader. He had all week to talk about energy and all he said all the above is my plan he never give any $ or brake down on his plan he said “ALL THE ABOVE “he means Obama plans, More McLies by omission. Please ask him what his plans are about the war he just says we need to win just like a child not just like a leader. Senator Obama is a leader young like Kennedy and Celebrity like Ragan. But McBush promised a campaign of integrity.
    Surely we can trust McCain to be honest with us and keep his promises.

    August 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Steve, Chelsea, MI

    I've seen Hagel a few times in interviews, he's one of the Republicans I respect. (I used to respect McCain too, until he rolled over for the Bush administration.)

    August 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. Wayne

    Obama threw gay Americans under the bus long ago. And Obama himself, does NOT support gay marraige equality. Obama supports a seperate but equal policy of Civil Unions. The same discriminatory type of civil unions that gay Americans in the state of NJ are now finding don't work because the companies that issue the benefits (ie health, insurance, inheritance, etc) do not consider civil unions to be marraiges and they are therefor denying benefits. SEPERATE BUT EQUAL WILL NEVER ACHIEVE EQUALITY.

    August 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. James Golden, New York

    Fact: Anyone who supports Obama based on his prior platforms is not a Republican, regardless of what they ran as before. Obama isn't "post partisan", he is a liberal who is able to get away without spelling the specifics of his platforms to his hordes of adoring fans.

    August 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. AK in LA

    Not exactly "Republican wanted as Obama VP". CNN: another misleading headline.

    August 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. James

    Republicans or Democrats as long as they care more for the people than for their bank account, they are all welcome..... Peoples first..

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

    I like the idea of Hagel in the administration somewhere, but not VP.

    The Democrats have waited eight excruciating years to get the White House back while they have a majority in Congress. Why should a Demcratic president select a Repub, no matter how centrist? The Repubs certainly wouldn't consider it. Besides, just because he was against the war doesn't mean any of his other positions align with Obama or the party.

    I don't want any Repub one heartbeat away from the Oval Office.

    August 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |


    VOTE OBAMA.....08

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

    Hagel for Secretary of Defense, but not for VP. Obama needs to pick Bayh, Clinton, or Clark for VP, and he should win.

    August 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Marilyn

    It won't work. Republicans won't vote for Obama anyway and neither will half the Democrats.

    August 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. ProudToBeDemocrat

    Republicans are going down, they destroyed this nation for the last eight years. Enough is Enough time to put Karl rove, dick cheny and the rest in prision and move on.

    August 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Unity

    Stellar choice!

    August 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Walter

    I'm not sure I care who Obama picks for VP. But he should certainly consider appointing Republicans to State and Defense.

    That would give his defense and foreign affairs policies substantial (though not perfect) protection from the rank partisanship of the morally bankrupt Republican party.

    If it was good enough for FDR, its good enough for Obama.

    August 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. Peter (CA)

    So, does a former Republican congressman's and, dare I say it, a sitting Republican senator's endorsement of Obama trump the mayor of Linden, NJ?

    Nice to see a candidate who can work with everyone; one who can be respectful of other's viewpoints.

    OK haters, what do you got?

    August 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Raymond Duke

    Hagel would make an excellent VP for Obama if you like a whinning loser. Officers like Hagel are the cowards that always cried about vietnam and caused us to lose it instead of being strong as your officer corp should be. I was in the military during vietnam .

    August 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  19. BHO Not my candidate

    Obama must not have much Democrat options...... what about Bill Richardson... the deal Obama made.... would he go back on it?

    August 12, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Franky

    "Obama supporters are the most mean, nasty, and hateful people that I have ever had the mispleasure of encountering."

    Well, maybe if you stop mocking us maybe we wouldn't be so mean to you. And don't give me that crap that you didn't felt that way. And by the way, my best advice for you is to NEVER EVER make fun of the people that are supporting him, that's rule number one. The only way our supporters would feel betrayed is if something unfortunate happened. Just like Senator Edwards...TRUST ME!

    But to tell you the truth guys, I've always wanted Hagel. Do I think he'll pick him?? I doubt it but I would just like to point out that I've always wanted Hagel...

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

    I hope he doesn't take Hagel. This just seems like a plan by the republicans.

    All they would have to do is hope that Obama gets killed and voila! you have a Republican in office again.

    August 12, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Brandon

    Sounds like a bad idea to cross party lines....

    August 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. SDunn

    Sarah excuses excuses. You were never going to vote for Obama anyway. That is one of the most ridiculous statements I've seen on this ticker. If you based your vote on the candidates' supporters you wouldn't be supporting anyone because I've seen nasty comments from everyone and that includes Hillary supporters, McCain supporters, and Obama supporters.

    August 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Ex-Republican for Obama

    As a former Republican, and feeling I somewhat am akin to Hagel's reasons for parting with the corrupt and morally, ethically and physically criminal mindset of the current GOP: I certainly embrace Hagel as my top choice for Obama's VP selection.

    I think this ticket gains alot more support then any Clinton ticket would. It sweeps across the aisle, combining two men with MANY of the same idealogical values for america while pitting their differences against each to be resolved in a civil manner, something I dearly miss in our government practices.

    August 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. Phil in KC

    P.S. I originally hail from Iowa's 2nd District.

    August 12, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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