ROANOKE, Virginia (CNN) – Introducing Barack Obama at a Friday campaign event, Virginia Senator Jim Webb questioned John McCain’s vice presidential pick and said it was a decision the Republican nominee now probably regrets.
“Do you really think that Sarah Palin is the most qualified person in the Republican Party?” asked Webb. “I don’t know how many people here like country music? I like country music. There’s a song about two years ago it was called ‘I know what I was doing but what was I thinking?’ I think John McCain is probably singing that song right now,” he added, referring to the Dierks Bentley tune “What was I thinking?”
“If you’re trying to talk to friends about clear distinctions in terms of judgment, temperament, vision, this is something you can really ask them to take a look at,” he said.
Webb said the choice of a running mate was the one real window into the kind of judgment a future president would exhibit in office. He said he did not really “understand the process” by which McCain picked Governor Palin but said Obama’s choice of Biden was “thoughtful,” and Biden is “capable in a moment of stepping forward” into the presidency.
“I watched the vice presidential debate and I thought Joe Biden did a very good job and at the beginning f the debate Governor Palin turned around and said ‘nice to meet you can I call you Joe’ and I was thinking Joe what you really ought to do is say ‘yeah, you can call me whatever you want - in two months you can call me Mr. Vice President,’” Webb said.
The junior senator said southwestern Virginia voters can “trust [Obama]” - and that the “Karl Rove” type campaign going on against him has gotten tough.
“What they do is they say that person is not like you that person doesn’t understand you,” he said. “There’s a lot of comments that have been made about certain ethnic issues in this campaign, and I would like to say we know Barack Obama’s father was born in Kenya. Barack Obama’s mother was born in Kansas by way of Kentucky. We’re going to see on Election Day the election of the 44th President of the United States, whose ancestry and whose family line goes back to the mountains of this area.”