June 11th, 2008
03:42 PM ET
15 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

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (303 Responses)

    This election is a bunch of BS.

    June 11, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  2. Ed from VA

    Sen. Obama always takes the "high road" and wastes no time removing "obstacles" (real or perceived) from his path to the White House!

    Obama '08 & '12

    June 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. A-Man

    As for those few Clinton supporters who are determined to vote anyone other then Barack because he beat their hero, please do. You obviuosly never were voting based on issues or what is best for the country anyways. You voted because you wanted a woman. Hey voting Republican out of spite is smart. Party who will likely never have a minority or woman as their candidate, and a vote for them sabotaging Obama will ensure the end of the democratic carreer of Hillary for creating you spite people. REAL SMART!!!!

    June 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  4. RRO

    This is an example of the Obama campaign taking the politcally expediant rout to get things done. A little controversy arises around this guy and he is gone. Dosn't matter that he didn't really do anything wrong.

    I hope this isn't the change Obama was talking about. I will still vote for him but there is less enthusiasm. You need to be tough. How is he going to get his ambitious reforms through congress, if he runs from a fight.


    June 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  5. JOSH

    you see obama/ cliton is the only way i vote for him

    June 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  6. Heather

    This is ridiculous. Johnson was a bloody volunteer. McCain has REGISTERED LOBBYISTS for the mortgage industry working on his campaign. If I were Obama I wouldn't have let them do this to me.

    June 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. Theresa in Minneapolis

    What a joke!!! The Republicans are so busy trying to make anything Obama does look bad. You guys need to worry about who your old fogie of a candidate is going to choose and let the democrats do what needs to be done.

    Johnson was totally qualified for this position and brought a lot to the table. Because of a loan he got YEAES ago. Come on now...

    June 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Mark of Minneapolis

    Oh please, gimme a break. McCain does not find any other issues? What crime Jim committed?

    June 11, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Mark Ferbet, Grain Valley Missouri

    But did he do anything illegal? No... apparently not... this is just the GOP's attempt to smear someone in the Obama Camp.

    June 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. Ostriches burying our heads in the sand

    wonder who the replacement will be...

    June 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. McCain is not my friend...

    The GOP just made a huge ordeal about him over nothing he's not even a paid member of the staff he's only a volunteer! There was no evidence of any wrong doing. It's sad that the GOP is playing 6 degress of seperation with Obama's friends, friends or friends, sister-in-laws baby cousin's uncle twice removed double kin on both sides of the family members.....this election is turning into a big joke because the Republicans don't have anything to go after but trivial things. Since they are so inclined to look so deeply into Obama's life and past (as well they should since he's the presidential nominee) they should do the same for McCain I'm sure if they did he'd only be left with about 3 staff members

    Please find a real issue to discuss!

    June 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Still for Hill

    These are the kind of people that Obama surrounds himself with... Countrywide... Corporate Greed at it's worst.

    Obama is not a new kind of politician... Pull the wool out from over your eyes...

    Since I can't have Hill, I will vote McCain

    June 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. ron

    Immediate resignation is good. No trying to hide and cover up things like the Bush organization does until the peson perjurs himself.

    Good sign that his administration will be transparent, clean and let the people know what is happening.

    I can almost gurarantee that if it was Bush, 1 or 2 things would have happened

    1. He would have stated "He's resigned for personal reasons"

    2. He would have kept him on the commitee and deny any claims of mortgage break.

    June 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Adam - TX

    This seems to be a common them with Obama's campaign. Is it too late to elect Hillary at the convention in August? At least all her skeletons are already out in public...

    June 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. sd

    mcsame will be happy now and by the way how can someone vote for mcsame that is an illtrate and dont know how to oprate computer cant even read but all he know is false attack. mcshame.

    June 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  16. Kenneth M


    June 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. Annick, MD

    Are they going to scrutinize everyone around Obama including the mailman and store cashier and the veterinarian and...
    it is getting ridiculous!!!
    The republicans are going so low

    June 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. mollygonz

    I'm sorry but him helping Obama find a VP has nothing to do with the housing crisis. This is ridiculous.

    June 11, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  19. Sean Lloyds

    Did he receive the mortgage from White Water Capital, you know, Bill and Hillary's secret mess they don't want their 18M idiot followers to know about...

    June 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  20. Michael

    It's probably best that he did. Even though he didn't have an official position, it just gives McCain the amunition to launch unecessary attacks on the Obama campaign. It's better that he stepped down early as opposed to waiting and letting the criticism, justly or not, pile up. I commend him for stepping down and allowing Obama to run as clean a campaign as possible. Him stepping down erases the idea that there are special interests involved in picking a VP.

    June 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  21. Mike

    Anybody who thinks this guys mortgage has anything to do with Obama's VP is a moron. Is this how it's going to work? You have no dirt on Obama, and don't have any issues to talk about, so you try to use this guy against him. Come up with something else Republican's. Start paying attention to the fact that the Republican party is playing all their supporters for fools.

    June 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. dennis from texas

    sounds like a friend of rezno got money real cheap let us go launder it for you bo inc

    June 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. Gloria

    Here we go.................

    Should have nominated Hillary..........

    June 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Anothen Williams

    WOW OBAMA doesn't play when it comes to Lobbyists and Ties to Lobbysists Im Glad OBAMA made this very executive decision, although some people are going to try to spin it like its a blow to OBAMA better he get rid of Johnson than someone demand for his resignation.

    June 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. Why try 08

    Current possible Lobbyist ties on staff::

    Obama 0
    McCain why count

    June 11, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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