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. Chris

    I say good riddance. Isn't this the clown who thought it would be a good idea to put Gerry Ferraro on the ticket with Mondale?

    June 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. election watcher

    Say hello to Rev. Wright and Obama's grandmother once you're there under that bus, Mr Johnson.

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

    If you use someone to look into the back ground of potential VP's, should you not at least check out the person that will be doing the checking. Good judgement..The wolf is guarding the hen house?

    June 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. C Gray

    Media bias towards Obama? I beg to differ. There are tons of skeletons about McCain the the MSM refuses to put forth to the public. If they did, all of his supporters would think twice about voting for him. How about starting with throwing his disfigured wife under the bus for an airhead blonde with millions.

    June 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |




    June 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  6. Angela Frazier, Memphis TN

    My God! The man got a great deal on a home loan. A loan that is well within lending guidelines! Being in the business, so did I! In no way did his actions defraud the public or put others at risk of losing their most prized possession!

    Nor did he recieved huges lump sums of money garner from the misery of those who WERE defrauded! This is ridiculous, but if this all the Redumblicans got, they are going down HARD!!!

    June 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Jim Walker

    It is truly amazing how many Americans, democrats in this case have so little self esteem that they actually believe that there are people more deserving of doubt than themselves. Johnson has obviously been caught with his finger in the pie. The people here are lucky if they make 50,000 a year while Johnson makes millions and got a very generous loan rate.

    The average people goes to the bank for a mortgage and the loan manager goes into a spiel about your credit history, etc and how you don't qualify for the best rate. The willingness of some people to overlook his double dealing says plenty about their own ethics and their blind devotion to their vaunted candidate the great orator, he of little actual knowledge.

    June 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  8. Dems be dopes

    He is going to need a bigger bus......

    June 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  9. Ryan, New York, NY

    This is becoming pathetic. No wonder most intelligent people have no desire to get into politics, as some stupid "scandal" like this becomes a big deal.

    Seriously, who'd have thought that company insiders receive preferential treatment – unheard of. /sarcasm

    It is disappointing to see these people being forced off the campaign by outside pressure, even though they've done nothing wrong.

    June 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Danily

    The fun begins. Obama doesn't like his standards when they are applied to him. He only wants to hold the commoners to high standards.

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

    But it isnt the Republican's fault that this man did something that wasnt right. Regardless, he did the right thing..Though it concerns me how many people are behind Obama's camp that speak loud yet their actions are suspicious..

    June 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. Wisdom

    This is another sound and smart choice you've made. We know these allegations against Johnson are baseless and unfounded, but since you are the torch bearer for intergrity, probity and accountability, they are certainly going to scrutinize you more than anyone. Take it in good faith. One can tell Johnson is a good man.

    People all accross this nation, and the entire world are praying for you.
    Always remember that "he who brought you this far, is more than able to take you accross the sea". Continue to depend on him totally for wisdom and guidance, and utilize all the talents and intellect he's given you. Always remember your humble beginings, never loose touch of that, for that's what sets you apart from everyone.

    Don't seize telling the truth, irrespective of how unconfortable it might be. Love those who are constantly wishing your defeat. This is yours for the taking, unless you forget the divine hand that is orchestrating all these in your favor. Courage and fortitude is your portion.

    Shallom, Peace and life to you !

    June 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. checkthisout


    Reminds me of jeremiah wright and Rezcko !!!!!!


    June 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. Ted

    Oh well, hopefully they can continue the process.

    Obama/Webb 08!

    June 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. michelle nyc

    hi jack,

    i think it was honorable that james johnson took it upon himself to step down. however i think he should have stayed in place, and the obama camp should stood firm.

    June 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  16. Agnostic Democrat

    So when will McCain purge his capmpaign of all the lobbyists and corruption of the past? That would be Mr. Graham and his ilk for those of you still indenial of squeaky clean (NOT!) McSham of Keating Five Fame.

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

    B Schrider June 11th, 2008 2:47 pm ET
    I find it amazing…a negative Obama story gets a paragraph.

    You idiot, CNN, MSNBC, and FIxNews all hae this as "breaking news" on there front page in big bold letters. The reason why it's only a paragraph right now is because he just stepped down. This is not even a big story anyway. Maybe you should ask this so-called bias media why we have't been told about all the lobbyist still hiding out in the McCain camp?

    June 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. Daniel, New York, NY

    Same ole politics. We miss Hillary!

    McCain – please save us Demos from Obama!

    McCain 2008

    HILLARY 2012

    June 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. Steve

    This was a very small issue, blown out of perportion. Nice try, McCain.
    You thought Obama would react like Hillary did when Mark Penn was exposed, by not reacting for days, and then finally just moving the guy to another part of the campaign. Obama's camp moves decisively and ethically. Once this was determined to be true, the guy went bye bye. McCain, you'd better be ready to move MUCH, MUCH faster than that to keep up with a man that is half as old and twice as smart.

    And for you Hillary supporters hoping against hope for an October surprise, please remember that there are larger numbers than you who put Obama where he is. There will be no surprise.

    June 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  20. Dan , TX

    Does that mean half of McCain's campaign staff should resign? Oh, that's right integrity is for democrats only....

    June 11, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  21. Tami

    Mobama should be the one to step aside. He can`t make a good decision about anything. How`s you uncle these days??

    June 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. Pat--Iowa

    McCain slips up and says 'beer' instead of bill.

    America finds out Obama has another money grubbing crook elitist on his team and which one makes the headlines?

    America is Stupid.

    Stupid people will vote Obama into office.

    June 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  23. Mike

    It is silly season and I don't think low low road will work this time.
    Republican textbook has been revealed and will not be torelated!

    June 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  24. Empty suit, empty promises

    It plays into his pattern of being involved with shady characters involved in shady deals.

    Hillary spoke of this and got hammered for it, "teflon Obama", the "Diety" can do no wrong, it's the Republicans fault for Wright, Ayers, Johnson and Rezco.

    I am no fan of Hillary, but she was clearly a better candidate than this empty vessel with empty promises. Seen him away from the teleprompter and speech writers yesterday when asked about this, all "uhs" and stutters, NOT A CLUE.

    June 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  25. urbantexan

    I believe that Mr. Johnson is not the only crook in Washington.
    All the politicians either are dirty themselves or knows a lobbyist that is dirty. So lets see Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice , Graham.. If We vetted the vetters Washington would be a ghost town!!!!!

    June 11, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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