July 8th, 2008
09:29 AM ET
13 years ago

Webb says no to being VP

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/07/art.web.gi.jpg caption="Webb says he does not want to be asked to be the No.2."](CNN) - You can officially scratch off Sen. Jim Webb's name from the list of Barack Obama's potential running mates.

The freshmen senator from Virginia and onetime Republican said unequivocally Monday he does not want to be the Illinois senator's No. 2.

Watch: How to get on the VP shortlist

"Last week I communicated to Senator Obama and his presidential campaign my firm intention to remain in the United States Senate, where I believe I am best equipped to serve the people of Virginia and this country," Webb said in an issued statement. “Under no circumstances will I be a candidate for Vice President."

Webb, a moderate Democrat and Vietnam veteran who successfully unseated former Virginia Sen. George Allen in 2006, has often been mentioned as a potential VP choice given his likely appeal in more conservative states, his early opposition to the Iraq war, and his credibility with military issues.

Election Center: Who's on the VP shortlists?

The Virginia senator also co-sponsored the Senate G.I. benefits bill passed this spring that seeks to increase tuition reimbursements for veterans. Despite an initial veto threat, President Bush signed the bill into law last week.

"I entered elective politics because of my commitment to strengthen America's national security posture, to promote economic fairness, and to increase government accountability," Webb also said. "I have worked hard to deliver upon that commitment, and I am convinced that my efforts and talents toward those ends are best served in the Senate."

Webb did not endorse a Democratic candidate during the primary season. Fellow Virginians Tim Kaine, the state’s governor, and Mark Warner, a former governor who is currently running for Senate, were also considered to be on in contention for the VP slot. Warner also took himself out of the running last month.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Jim Webb
soundoff (283 Responses)
  1. Lisa

    VP is a very hard job and everybody does not want that when they are happy with what they are doing. Anybody but Hillary Clinton

    July 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Kevin Miller

    If Obama wants a military guy, as well as someone who would humiliate the Republicans, that would be Colin Powell. I would love a Obama/Powell ticket.

    July 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. Texas Independent

    Come on People,

    This is a political move on the part of the campaign. Many wanted Webb to be VP including many from his state, he was not going to be chosen becasue of his time in the senate was a problem, his views on women in the past will be a problem. SO how do we NOT piss of the swing state, by having the person take himself out of the running.

    July 7, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. Turning the page

    Obama/Biden '08
    Obama/Anyonehechooses '08

    July 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. No Nos moveran

    The threats, insults, bigotry, name-calling, race-baitng bully tactics from the Obama, his campaign, the pundits and his cult following will NOT force us to vote for the LEAST QUALIFIED, INEXPERIENCED, NO TRACK RECORD, DO-NOTHING candidate ever to be nominated.

    We do not care that he made sure he was the ONLT democrat left standing and thus expected to win by default this year.

    Four more years is better than the death of our democratic system of fair elections and counting the votes.

    July 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Oh what a tangled Webb we weave...

    July 7, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. DC Insider

    Jim Webb just made one of the vest career decision he will ever make in his political career.

    July 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Candy West Virginia

    Hey pb – you are dead on. Thanks for speaking the truth.

    July 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Murphy

    Good move for Webb. Obama is flip flopping on everything. Who ever is his running mate will probably hose their whole career hanging on Obama's coat tails. He's very smooth, watch out America he is not what he seems. This deomcrat is NOT voting for Obama, ever!!!

    July 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. Darryl

    Funny CNN!! We all know Webb wouldn't get tapped anyway. Another HRC supporter. And how contradictory would it be to select him?? I know you guys at CNN are trying to keep this close for ratings, but give it a break.
    Oh..... and another thing, Paul Begala is the weakest spokesperson I've ever seen for the Democratic Party. You should really think about getting a REAL Obama supporter when you have these folks make comments.

    Obama is smart enough to know that as Webb supported HRC, he doesn't represent REAL change.

    His pick will be a BIG surprise to everyone and all of this speculation and jockeying will look like a complete and total waste of time.

    July 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Senator Kerry is happy

    Senator Kerry is happy - he still hope to be the #2

    July 7, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. Bill in Virginia

    To: MARYANN Oswego IL–


    Your comment is about as stale as Hillary's "suspended" campaign. And for the last time, SHE DID NOT RECEIVE MORE VOTES THAN OBAMA! stop telling yourself those lies (next you'll be saying Hillary WAS under sniper fire in, er, wherever the hell she claimed to be way back when).

    Go ahead, stay home and don't vote on election day and I guarantee youu that with McCain as president (if he wins - which I don't think he will):

    – gas will be $12.00 a gallon in two years;
    – health care will become even more unaffordable;
    – our country's prominence in the world will continue to plummet;
    – blah, blah, blah

    July 7, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Kevin Miller

    It will be Evan Bayh. There is no question now, since it seems Obama is looking more like he wants to be the center candidate, and McCain is the conservative.

    July 7, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. Jonnie rae, Boston

    Webb is a sexist, has some racist incidents in his past, was Republican before he was a Democrat. And he never really supported BO until he had to. I am glad he is out. He adds nothing to the ticket. Richardson is my choice. He brings the West, the hispanics, and the two of them together are electric. His resume is impeccable and he stood up when we really needed him. He is a winner. And all you Bo bashers, what is your problem? I hope you are all on the McCain site giving him all kinds of props.

    July 7, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. Phantom of the Oprah

    No amount of threats, insults, bigotry, name-calling, race-baitng and bully tactics from the great Obama, his campaign, the pundits and his cult following will FORCE us to vote for the LEAST QUALIFIED, MOST INEXPERIENCED, NO TRACK RECORD, DO-NOTHING candidate ever to be nominated.

    Quite the contrary actually. The picture is EVEN BIGGER than a democratic win this NOV. It is a democratic win over the tyranny that has hijacked the democratic party and all its ideals.

    We do not care that Obama made sure he was the ONLY democrat left standing, and thus expected to waltz right in and win by default this year. How could ANY democrat lose? Well.... an illegitimately selected and installed democrat CAN , SHOULD and hopefully WILL lose- even in this shoo in year.

    Four more years is better than the death of our democratic system of fair elections and counting the votes. That is the change that Obama brought us. Cheating, stealing, demanding and forcing his own nomination.

    July 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  16. Vig

    How many does this make now, not wanting to be Obama's VP? I guess playing 2nd fiddle to someone who is starting to believe he's a rock star would be a bore. This guy wants a football stadium? And they called Hillary Clinton a narcisstic type. Sorry, but Hillary would never consider a football stadium. This guy just has to be the center of attention doesn't he? Dump Obama and put Hillary on the November ballot – Hillary who won the popular vote, Hillary who had more pledged delegates, Hillary who had 18 million people vote for her before the media and Pelosi et. al. hijacked her legitimate nomination and made Obama into a media promotional. Support Write-In's for Hillary and put her on the November ballot, give the American people their 1st choice – Hillary.

    July 7, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  17. ReP

    Anyone but Clinton & Rendell. I wouldn't be surprised if some of these people are saying no to push him to have to default to Clinton. Obama is smarter than that. Don't let them push her on you. Go outside the box. I hope he finds someone before the convention though and makes his announcement when he make his official nomination announcement. The suspense is killing me.

    July 7, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  18. Larry, Hazleton, Pa

    Mr Webb has made his decision and that is fine with me – he is a fine man from all that I can see – I am sure that he is doing the job that he feels best at – May a humbly suggest that Joe Biden, Tom Dashle or Dick Gephadrt would be fine choices.

    July 7, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  19. Phantom of the Oprah

    Substance just won't fall for Hype.

    Just the Obama cult does that.

    And they have irreparably divided and damaged the party with their bigotry and hatred.

    Suffer on, fair democrats.

    July 7, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  20. Alex

    Now we see who the truly bright Democrats are. They see the REAL problems ahead on "Fantasy Island" headed by Barrack Obama and don't want to forever ruin their career's. Smart folks!

    July 7, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  21. Mark Senak

    Barack to the Future!

    July 7, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. MD in GA

    I really worry about our nation sometimes. So many hate mongers. These blogs and the internet have confirmed that we still have a long, long, way to go. It's just incredible...

    Frankly, I have never seen such a fuss about the choice for VP. It's just not that deep. Just as Webb has said no, Biden has already said yes (if asked.) So, seems to me there are lots of good people to choose from still. How come there is so little talk about a VP for Senator McCain. Is it because most people don't really expect him to win???

    July 7, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. enomisa

    The dying cult of the limping Obama.

    Oprah, Caroline, Maria, Kerrys, Ted, Dean and Pelosi... stay out of the process.... let the people vote and just COUNT all the votes.

    NO more fixed elections.

    NO more celebrity bandwagons.

    No more media blitz.

    No more nasty name-calling, manipulative race-baiting, manipulation of the media, filthy attacks and disrespect for fellow democratic candidates and their supporters.

    July 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  24. B.Brown

    Was he asked? Duh

    July 7, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. Rick, USA

    Well, it's his choice, but he will never be my president either.

    July 7, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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