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

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. DB

    Maybe he could help the vet the vetters who would be vetting the vetters. This is kind of rediculous. This guy is experienced and knows what he is doing and has done nothing illegal. But hey if republicans want to yell and scream about things that don't matter and nobody cares about, let them! If they want to concern themselves with issues like this that don't help american citizens in anyway, it just reinforces how misguided and inane their values princples are!!

    June 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. @everyamericans

    good for him to step down, but McCain campaign is being RUN by lobbyist and they are still in his campaign!

    OBAMA is being honest with the American people by not having anything to do with lobbyist in his campaign, but can McBush do the same!


    McBUSH is in the tank with Lobbyist and 4 MORE YRS OF GDUBYA!

    June 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Jim

    Good move...

    June 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. rachel

    Haha. Isnt this how it always happens? Politics as usual. After repeatedly denying it had any importance someone steps done. Me thinks they just didnt want them to dig deeper.

    June 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. gemstonez

    I have mixed emotions about his decision to step down. First of all, it was a volunteer position. Secondly, how are those things relevant concerning former business deals. Finally, did anyone ask "regular" people whether or not they cared about his business deals?

    June 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Will in Richmond, VA

    Well... that's that.

    Although I really didn't see the problem. Sometimes people are hired to do a job because they are good at it, regardless of what is in their background. And it's not like he himself was going to be Veep. How exactly would his affiliation with Countrywide compromise the VP search, anyway?

    June 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. RANDY

    Since CNN never posts my well thought out discussion posts and seems to like to print a majority of pro-Obama posts, I would like to try this just for the fun of it to see if it gets posted.

    Go Obama...The Savior has arrived....The Second Coming!

    June 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Jano

    Well, well, well, I guess a lot of our thoughts are right. Obama can't even pick a committee member. Wonder how he would do as president???????

    June 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. yen

    That is the way to go. Sad but better to take care of controversy rightaway.

    June 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  10. jason

    I got a deal on my new iPod from my friend that works at Apple. I hope the Republicans don't find out. I can't afford to quit my job. I've been screwded enough by them over the last 8 years....and now it's paycheck to paycheck.

    June 11, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. BC


    June 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. Hoang, UC Berkeley

    Oh no, now Obama supporters are shouting that I am racist because I have given my reasons for deciding to write Hillary in.
    SORRY, THAT LABEL IS NOT GONNA STICK ON ME!!!! YOU SEE, THIS IS BERKELEY; MY CLOSE FRIENDS ARE ACTUALLY FROM ALL OF THE RACES AND ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD. I gotta print these comments and show them to my friends and see what they think. 😀 hahaha
    Poor Hillary. She was purposedly labeled "racist" by SOME ACTUAL RACIST ONES.

    June 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. john

    Well, this was bound to happen. Get ready all you folks who voted for inexperience, this is bound to only be the beginning of emabrrasing situations for the Senator.

    June 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  14. This is our first black candidate?

    Obamas shady land deals are beginning to come back to haunt him. As a black man let me say that I'm willing to wait for a black candidate that won't make our race look bad as president.

    June 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  15. Boudreau

    The Democrat VP selection is easy. If Obama selects Ret. General Wesley Clark, then he will easily walk into the Presidency. No need to get upset over the 'selectors'.

    June 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. ProundToBeADemocrat

    That is the way to do it do not give this stupid republicans a chance to change the subject from what matters to the American people to some stupid things like this John Mccain does not have anything to offer to the American people so he will trying to decive people if he is given a chance to do so.

    June 11, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Darcy - Arkansas

    Thank you Mr Johnson for your service and recognizing Senator Obama does not need the drama your past affiliations may bring about. This reflects well on your character to me. Again, thank you.

    June 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. vic nashville,Tn

    This news proved that Obama is a inexperience candidate
    Wake up America
    We need Hillary Back
    Hillary 08 or Mc Cain 08

    June 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  19. obamacrat

    Good decision. Now lets move on.

    June 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. Frosty

    This is too stupid. Are we looking for angels to run anything now? May be new born babies will do the task but even then I'm sure the republicans will find something wrong with them. Kicked the mother while in the womb or something to that effect. Ridiculous!

    Los Angeles, CA.

    June 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Matt--Nebraska

    Notice how Obama defends people, then throws them under the bus?

    This guy has no convictions.

    and is going to need a bigger bus!

    June 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. Harold Smith

    This is evident of the cartoonish, sad state of our country. This is exactly why our country is in the sad state it is in with George W. Why do we let our news outlets (Fox, CNN and MSNBC)continue to dictate to us what is important to the welfare of our country. This guy will not have a job in this administration, all they are doing finding out information on Veep Candidates. That's it! It's because of these games why Kerry wasn't elected and reelected possibly one of the worst 5 presidents ever. To be honest nothing has been proven about Mr. Johnson's mortage at Countrywide..it's still speculatory. I guess to run for president now..you have to PERFECT, AND EVERYONE YOU KNOW OR HAVE SPOKEN TOO MUST NOT HAVE ANY SPOTS EITHER. Guess what there has been only 1 Perfect person who walked the earth and his name is Jesus, and he could not even be president by our definition because he knows close to 6 billion imperfect people. What a sad state we have become in determining who is a good president. W. Durant said" Great civilizations are not conquered from external enemies but rather crumble from within" We are people that are making this country crumble. Blame ourselves for our state of recession and moral depression this country is now in! ****PLEASE POST***** maybe someone will wake-up!

    June 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. Blake, San Diego

    Sometimes politics is so silly.

    June 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Paul in Seattle

    I guess it's good to take care of this now, to lessen the Republican attack machine's ammo – Operation Chaos! But I'm sure there are plenty of things the Democrats can call out about the Republicans/McCain with regards to cronyism and promoting friends over qualified individuals.

    June 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. Relle Boston

    Barack will be ok. No worries. This was a distration, sometimes certain things need to be done. So lets move on!

    June 11, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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