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. RJJ

    wow.. what a scandal.. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    June 11, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Matt

    That's ok...Obama's VP was picked by Johnson @ Bilderberg this past weekend in Chantilly VA...

    June 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. John from LA

    Well, Well, Well-Obamabots-I thought your candidate was about CHANGE-sounds like the same old politics to me! Again BO is showing his judgement in picking a team to pick a VP-Saint Obama begins to get tarnished-can't wait for more!

    This is gonna be a fun 4 months!!!-

    June 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Down with Obama

    Bob, do you know what is in Obama's closet????

    Larry Sinclair???


    June 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    Much ado about nothing!!! Now can we get back to the serious issues at hand!!!

    June 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Sue in MI

    Here we go–wasn't it just a few months ago that McCain pledged to run a clean campaign without sniping and innuendo and back-stabbing? HA! Since he's behind, all the gloves are off, and all the promises are trashed. He does not have a prayer of winning, not a prayer.

    June 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. larry King Live

    when would obama disown Michelle....lolol.............

    June 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Dallas

    Don't see anyththing wrong with this – if you have a friend somewhere and they can get you a deal why not... everyone does this everywhere and it's not unethical at all.

    June 11, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Joe, Northern Virginia

    Is this the kind of clean campaign that McCain is preaching of having this fall? How does this comment even remotely address any of the issues that American families are facing daily? John McCain cries about being personally attacked and turns around the next day to play the same tired old Washington politics that we are all view with outmost disdain. And this is for all the people who think that experience in Washington should be the deciding metric during the fall elections. Why are we in these messes with all those ultra-experienced politicians in Washington? It is good judgment that counts!!!

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

    obama better win

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

    This goes to show how well Obama's campaign is run. Full of integrity.

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

    You can shoo the flys away for a bit but they eventually return to the pile of .....

    June 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  13. Greg Griswold

    If a republican did this there would be no end to this story. The media will never make a democrat accountable. This will be old new by the time this is posted!!!!

    June 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. john from tampa

    I wonder why noone is sayng anything about MCCain's campaign director, the lady CEO from HP who was canned for spying on the board members.

    June 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  15. R.I.F.

    Why is this "breaking news" on your front page. All this guy was doing was gathering info on potential VP candidates and was not getting paid., and he was not a lobbyist. You are trying to make this out to be a Mark Penn story when it's not even close. Every time Obama shakes hands with someone who may have a spec of dirt on them you guys turn it into a firestorm.

    I have not seen one ticker on this webiste that talks about Phil Gramm being one of the key lobbyist that help to deny actions that could've been taken to help stop the housing and mortgage meltdown and now helps McCain write what....his housing and economic policy.

    June 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. John W., Milwaukee, WI

    Now if only Senator Obama would resign for the $250.000 he received from Rezko and his "sweetheart" house deal...

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

    Republicans are forced by fear to stoop so low...

    Republicans don't even -like- McCain. They're just supporting him because they like the idea of a Democrat-controlled White House (and Congress, and House of Reps, and state governments) even less.

    Of course none of these shoot-anything-that-moves tactics is going to work, and that's the laughable part. Democrats across the board, in every national, state, and local election, are going to CLEAN HOUSE this November. It's going to be a bloodbath.

    The GOP is OUT. Republicans can maybe then take 4 years to figure out how they let GWB et al get so out of control, and come back as a respectable party.

    Straight Party Democrat!

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

    There is plenty of scandal in the McCain camp so give it a break over 45 lobbyists running his campaign. This guy was just helping him pick a VP, not running his whole campaign.

    June 11, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. D.H

    At Least Obama has folks around him with the right out look for him. McCain does not care about the older Americans & disabled at all. If he is elected we will loose even the nickels & dimes we currently recieve.

    Obama will free America from the wars & help make us great once again!

    June 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. P Walters

    The gilded Obama image is becoming more tarnished. It still has quite a bit of sheen and luster, but more scratches to the patina will lessen the effect.

    June 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  21. PWB

    I am a loyal democratic voter who is supporting Obama. However, I am over 70 years old. I find it offensive for my fellow democrats to belittle McSame over his age. Please complain about his policies, but when you insult his age you insult me and a lot of other older voters. I fear some of them will not be inclined to brush off the rhetoric and will vote for McSame out of spite.

    Obama 08

    June 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  22. Debby

    Another one bites the dust. They must have ousted him even though Obama said yesterday it didn't matter.

    June 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  23. Political Junkie

    The BO supporters (And I like and intend to vote for the man) can never admit when their team has made a mistake. The guy is not perfect in any way shape or form...none of us are. I think when he makes an error and he has made MANY, it is because he rushed to judgement or did not fully research or depended too much on others. This is a sign of inexperience and something we will be getting if/when he is elected. The bigger point is that he makes it right when it happens but my fear is that it is happening too often. I believe that there are many personal issues that should be left out of the campaign...any campaign but BO is not practicing his "new politics" when he reacts the same way any "old" politician would act. It is obvious that many of his moves are, like "old" politicians," motivated only for political gain and this is not what he promised. I am beginning to get worried.

    June 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  24. Bob Chisolm

    So much for "change" in Washington.
    A senator can't even choose a person to help him choose.
    Sounds like Bush-II

    June 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. len

    I hope you all put McCains lobbyist under the same pressure

    obama 08

    June 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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