June 11th, 2008
03:42 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama's VP vetter steps aside

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/11/art.jim.ap.jpg caption="Jim Johnson is no longer involved in Obama's VP search."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A key member of Barack Obama's vice-presidential search team, James Johnson, is stepping down after criticism over a mortgage he received, the Obama campaign said.

"Jim did not want to distract in any way from the very important task of gathering information about my vice presidential nominee, so he has made a decision to step aside that I accept," the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said in a statement.

Republicans had been hammering Johnson since the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that he received a good deal on a mortgage from Countrywide due to his friendship with the company's CEO Angelo Mozilo. Obama has criticized Countrywide in connection with the subprime mortgage crisis.

WATCH Obama defend Johnson Tuesday

Full story


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Obama 08/12

    To B McShrider /
    If we get McShame "he is voting against BEER " he will need Graham on one elbow and Lieberman on the other to nudge him with these old -timer senior moments he has but God help us when the 3 a.m. phone call comes in he will think Abraham is answering it in the Lincolm Bedroom after all he has forgotten Abraham died so will let it keep ringing .

    Go Obama we love you 08/12 (No Hillary)

    June 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  2. Patrick

    Barack is a loser! I hope he chooses Clinton as VP or my vote goes to Mccain

    June 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. Brett

    Ah, the politics of hope and change. Haha. Thank you, Mr. Obama 🙂

    June 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  4. Peg Robson

    Obama is just like the rest of the political pack, wait there is more to come. For some reason he's been treated like a the golden one, I have my own opinions on that one but this whole mess is a joke. I can't imagine what our country is going to lose next. Obama in the white house really scary...

    June 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  5. RuthieM

    Too bad. I saw absolutely nothing wrong with this job Johnson was doing, as a volunteer for Obama.

    June 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Sarah

    Did someone say Republican's are ruthless....interesting coming from the party that has the Clinton's as their most admired political figures....the Clinton's are as ruthless as they come, just look at what they (him and her) did to Obama in the primary....you have some nerve to call the Republicans ruthless as a Republican I think its more suitable to call them spineless this is the first attack they have really made and stuck with, I wish they would do it more often.

    June 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. Suzanne

    I would think Countrywide was happy to give a mortgage that was going to get paid back. This is not a story.

    June 11, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  8. dd from Texas

    "Let he who has no sin cast the first stone". Some of you people act as though you are so holy. If only GOD himself could press a "Rewind" button of each of our lives....what would HE see? Stop being so quick to judge.

    Mr. Johnson sounds like a man of integrity which is the kind of people Senator Obama is looking for in his administration.

    Thank you Mr. Johnson!! We understand why you stepped down.

    Obama for President!

    June 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. zephyr99

    This is "change we can believe in"? Nothing will ever change in Washington. It's all about power, money, and, well, use your imagination.

    June 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. SAM2008

    they all liars, Obama or McCain i think Obama little more because he want to be something he cant be, and nobody knows him nobody knows what he did he do in his life before and where he got all this money, a lot of things McCain people will find against him and we all be disappointed.
    SO PLEASE DONT BE HAPPY For Obama somebody is digging big hole for him. and for us

    June 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Cincinnati girl

    Whatever happened to "let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

    I understand the guy bowing out. Having nothing to hide does not mean that you should have to endure being publicly targeted. What person would choose that route, especially when the role you are playing does not call for such scruitny. The guy's doing research for goodness sake. On a volunteer basis to be exact. I'm sure he felt comfortable stepping down because the VP search is probably already researched and narrowed down.

    June 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  12. JJ

    I can't say that I am not surprised. Housing is a hot and emotional topic right now for everyone and the least bit of scrunity will come out and there is something there.

    But then again....this is politics are usual. Story broke yesterday where WaMu is helping a poltician from California get her foreclosed house back. Politics are Politics!

    June 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  13. Stephen H

    Maggie,

    Get your facts straight before you go making unfounded accusations! There was no scandal reported here.

    June 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. Linda

    Obama seems to know very little about the people he is friends with or has as advisers even after 20 years. I hope his judgment is more sound on other matters.

    June 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  15. cedarsands

    Sing it with me now:

    Bom Bom Bom, Another One Bites the Dust.
    Bom bom bom, Another One Bites the Dust

    Hey there Jim, how's Obama's grandma doing under that bus?

    June 11, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. Randy - Denver

    I cannot believe we have gotten so petty that someone, who was not charged with any crime, was not even listed as having done anything questionable, has to leave a campaign because where they used to work had some problems. "Republicans had been hammering Johnson since the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that he received a good deal on a mortgage from Countrywide due to his friendship with the company's CEO Angelo Mozilo. " So what thye are saying folks is that if you want to run for public office you cannot look for a deal at anytime in your life. Same thing they used against Mr. Obama with Rezco, he bought some property at below market value from his neighbor... I guess it is a good thing I am not running for public office since once I traded some cedars I had cut down in my yard for so work on my Air Conditioning.. scrap trunks for freon and some soldering!! OH MY GOODNESS I MUST BE A CRIMINAL!!!

    June 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  17. Kim

    Mollygonz,
    Did you even read the article? What are you talking about???!!

    June 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  18. Andrea. California

    This Countrywide fool, Rezko, Ayers, Wright, Michael Peleger, (Michelle Obama), he surrounds himself with these kind of people that do this kind of business or conduct themselves the way they do is a joke, its horrible. What kind of guy do you guys really think he is? I've heard people say modern day Moses. PLEASE, get real. (the michelle obama thing was partially a joke) If he's been wanting to become President all his life, you'd think he would surround himself with better human beings.

    June 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. vw

    You can see, those people like Pelosi, Dean, Reid, Kerry, Jim, and Kennedy, are so excited by undemocratically forcing Senator Clinton to drop out of the race....

    Like obama said, this is not the party/wright we knew before.

    It is for sure that this hijacked party will lose in Nov.

    June 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. Uncle Sam

    It looks like Sen. Obama needs a vetter for his vetters.

    June 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Fredi

    That's impressive!!! if everyone on McCain's team had the same integrity as Johnson – there would be nobody left – not even McCain!

    June 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  22. HRC3655

    Boo Hoo Obama Barack, It's fun to dish out to Hillary but it Hurts when it happens to you!

    June 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Aida

    Obama picked him in the first place, don't his educated supporters see this? Okay, he makes an AWFUL choice, the guy resigns and Obama is making executive decisions?!? Give me a break. The guy is a puppet and Kerry is pulling the strings.

    June 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. Stu

    What an excuse for an issue. Should they vette the people who vette the people who vette the VP candidates now?

    June 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. look byond

    I think Mr. Johnson did the right thing.

    We should respect his decision and move on.This is not the time for any distraction.

    Lets find some one to replace him as quick as possible.
    The rebublicans are going to do anything to get John MCCain-Bush in office.
    Fail policies for how many decades. We have a new agender of change, because after 40 plus years of fail policies, this country needs a face lift.
    We have to take back the America we all know from the conservative right republicans who just want to see the down fall of this country.
    This is not what our founding fathers intended for this country.

    We are so isolated and lot of us Americans do not understand why we are so much hated around the world.
    We have to find a better way and better strategies to implement new vision for the betterment of The United States of America and it's people.

    Off course MCcain- Bush Policies is a perfect example of how this country will go 40 years backwards if the white house falls in the hands of conservative republicans.

    June 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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