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

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Ssempungu, Chicago

    This is a clear example that shows that Obama is fully committed to bringing transparency , honesty and and dignity to Washington and that he will practice what he preaches.

    June 11, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. One Vote

    THERE ARE OTHER CANDIDATES FOR THE POSITION... MCSAME HAS TO DO MORE OF THE SAME THING.....

    June 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  3. gastoys

    Wow, Obama let him go just like that without any fight! No integrity or maybe it's because Obama know there is more behind it.

    What is all this McBush and McSame? Is that all you liberals have. Hey we have one too now and it's Ocarter.

    Bob Barr 08

    June 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. nic, bellingham wa

    Obama/Kucinich 08!!

    June 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. LaShanda

    The mainstream media has pounced on this, but ignored former Senator Phil Gramm, a lobbyist in John McCain's campaign. Gramm worked for UBS (also part of the subprime mess), but is advising McCain on Foreclosure relief. Why would a rep for the banks help the people suffering? McCain is truly Teflon John! Nothing sticks!
    Jim Johnson is not being paid!

    June 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Willam from Texas

    Good riddance.

    Hillary as VP = Unity

    June 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Mike D. from San Diego

    Liberal Media??? I think not.
    Why aren't CNN and others covering the Bush impeachment proceedings? Will they even print this post? They didn't post the last one!!!

    June 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. aware

    This is Just another, "He wasn't the guy I thought I knew" situation. 🙂

    Face it, Obama does not offer change Americans can live with let alone believe in! He really is an extreme left-wing dirty politician way out of his depth!

    McCain 08 the only wise choice left. Vote for the American hero in touch with Mainstream America! 🙂

    June 11, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. rich

    James Johnson, is stepping down after criticism over a sweeheart deal of a mortgage he received which is due largeley to his friendship with the Countrywide Mortgage Company's CEO Angelo Mozilo.

    This is one of the big reasons why this country is where it is today from a credit and housing perspective. Good ole boys taking care of good ole boys......Creative writing of loans a and sweetheart deals with friends.

    It is all Greed, greed, greed, greed..............the greedy get greedier and we all pay for their dumb moves. Educated people ? Or, Morons ?
    My guess is the latter of the two...........

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. MM

    Here it begins...the decisions, the people he picks will be revealed.

    Obama made a mistake..Oh, my! It can't be

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. mute76

    It looks bad to defend people yesterday and then toss them out >

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. Party unity

    Here we go. Obama's staff is not ready for primetime. Why is there not proper vetting going on? This is not the way to start the general election.

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  13. Mr. Spock

    It is illogical to believe that this is actually newsworthy...

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  14. K E O

    "Excellent" that's my man don't give them any ammo! I

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  15. Joe M

    Inevitable perhaps, but Johnson had great experience and was known as tireless worker, but Countrywide is like a "red flag" in front of a bull right now. What about McCain's Keating 5 connection in the 1980's and the Ameriquest incident in the current decade?

    It seems that no one is immune from this kind of treatment when they reach this level in politics. Senator Obama has another choice to make to "chair" this troika and may I humbly suggest retired Congressman, Lee Hamilton of Indiana. Impeccable credentials, honesty etc. Would help calm this flap.

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. FedUp!!!

    This tit for tat is becoming ridiculous. With all of the unsavory people president Bush has surrounded himself with for the last 8yrs this should be the least of our worry. What we need is new direction for America. Instead, each day we are talking about who works for this campaign and that campaign while the average Joe is trying to figure out how he can make it to work because he doesn't have money to put into his gas tank because gas is 4.00 a gallon. Soon America will be like a third world country and we will need a Dictator like Bush to come in and save this country like he YEARNED to do with IRAQ...ABSOLUTELY INSANE!!!!!

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. skinny dog

    Another boneheaded mistake. How can this country afford it?!

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. tidho

    Necessary evil. Its completely irrelevant and in no way reflects on Obama, but you have to shut the media up.

    Would be nice if the media went after policy as hard as they do perceived scandal.

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. LB

    Oh wait, let me write the comment from Senator Obama: "This isn't the Jim Johnson I knew for X number of years."

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. KC

    Barry continues to make good decisions to surround himself with people of good character, not a scab in the bunch ///

    June 11, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. DJ, LA, CA

    The Republicans are in no position to talk considering how many lobbyists work in McCain's staff...not to mention how many millions of $ special interest and lobby groups have donated.

    Makes sense for Johnson to resign though...it is a conflict of interests to have him involved.

    June 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Arkay, MI

    This is acomment on bitter-gate article where the comments are closed. CNN please allow me to show an obvious error in McCain's statement.

    “cling to their religion and the Constitution because they are bitter."

    McCain is twisting Obama's words. Obam said 'guns and religion' not 'constitution and religion'

    June 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Tyvedra Callum

    How come Obama didn't vet the guy who would be vetting the VP? Come on, you know they are watching you. Do you only have three qualified people to choose from? You need to be more careful than that. This is the BIG BOY campaign now!!!!!!

    June 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. Kris

    I say, down with people that have subprime mortgages. give me a break. This is the stuff that disgusts me about election season. My question is why is this stuff news. Jim Johnson did nothing wrong. The right wing noise machine always ticking I guess.

    June 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. JB - NYC

    hahaha.. busted!

    June 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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