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

Webb says no to being VP

Webb says he does not want to be asked to be the No.2.

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. Jason

    I'm so sick of people claiming that people are saying 'no' because they don't like Obama.

    Do any of you consider to think about the fact that hes only been a Senator for a year and just doesn't want to leave his position for VP?

    "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter" – Winston Churchill

    July 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Democrat in LA

    Looking more and more like Bill Richardson– Judas will have the last laugh. Can't wait to see the look on HRC's and James Carville's faces when that one is announced.

    July 7, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    Webb is no dummy. He can only lose. He became a Dem due to the war in Iraq. If he can't count on Obama (and who could??) to actually get us out, why go through all that?

    I can't think of anything worse than a person who actually understands what war is, UNLIKE the chicken-hearted Obama whose idea of war is entirely the product of his "handlers", being stuck with a jerk who thinks that wars are for talking about and making empty promises about in order to line his pockets. Has anyone ever been this greedy so openly when running for President???

    I can't wait to see Obama's 2008 Tax Return!!

    It pays to run for president, and that's all obama wants. What a sorry excuse for a leader. Give me a break.

    They're not exactly lining up to run with you, are they?

    Clinton would have so such problem. Oh, and Barry, be sure to copy Clinton's economic plan. You've stolen everything else, and this plan, NOT yours, actually works. But be careful, don't give credit to anybody. Someone might think you don't know much. Can't have that. It doesn't pay.

    July 7, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. jp/michigan

    It seems to me, people with common sense, will and should stay away from the VP position with Obama.

    July 7, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. R.I.F.

    ......But Webb also said he would campaign hard to help Obama win the battleground of Virginia in the general election. "He is a man who speaks eloquently about our national goals and calls for the practical solutions that must be put into place to obtain them," he said. "I will proudly campaign for him."

    Guess you didn't have time to type that important part CNN? Your bias is so transparent.

    July 7, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Dianne

    I am sure several more people will turn down the #2 spot on both tickets...after all who would want to be thrown under the bus like we have always done to our politicians. Besides...it is obama's to lose.

    July 7, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Vote for Change

    Hillary Backer for McCain sounds really stupid. You are a disgrace to Senator Clinton.

    July 7, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Chris, Las Vegas,NV

    And the list goes on and on!!!
    Haha wow how many is that Obama, apparently no one wants to be your counselor in the white house. Its obvious you would be like Bush relying on Dick to tell you what to do because you have no experience.

    July 7, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Jeff

    for those saying Obama lacks experience... would you have claimed the same of Abraham Lincoln prior to his election? because he and Obama have the EXACT same political experience prior to their election?

    July 7, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. Bob Wit


    Sebelius is not charismatic at all. Those of us who are looking for a charismatic person for VP are not calling for someone who is more charismatic than our candidate- is that a possibility??- but someone with a bit of charisma. Along with national security credentials and experience.

    I hope that clears that little misconception up.

    Onto my pick- Biden, baby. Joe Biden. Or Bill Richardson. Either one would be a perfect right hand man for THE man, Barack Obama.

    Bob Wit

    July 7, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Pretty soon Hillary will be the only one left. At least Webb has the sense to know that as a one term Senator, he doesn't have the experience to be VP. Too bad junior can't figure that out.

    July 7, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Enlightened Voter

    Hey Jeff Long – Obama was an Illinois Senator for 8 years and a US Senator for 3, he actually has more 'experience' than Hillary in elected office. And for president no one ever has prior experience except 2nd termers, it takes judgment, not experience.

    July 7, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. California Gold

    Jim Webb is a good senator. His bill was the veteran bill Pres. Bush eventually signed, which is the same bill McCain vetoed (no surprise). Bush then had the audacity to credit McCain with Webb's veteran bill (a bold faced lie) as the media filmed. Jim Webb seems focused and sharp. A good Senator and a voice we need in the Senate. I can envision him making a bid for VP or President during another election cycle. But for now he knows what he wants to do and that's to represent his constituents in the Senate. Good for you Senator Webb. We need a candidate who is believes she/he is ready, willing and able.

    July 7, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |


    July 7, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Kevin Miller

    Webb wouldn't have been my first choice as VP anyway. He is better off in the Senate. I don't think Hillary Clinton will get it either. Obama likes her, but Hillary doesn't fit his campaign well enough. No, it will be a moderate Democrat. It could be Gov. Kaine, but I think he has suggested as well he doesn't want the job either! So, I think it will turn out to be either Kansas Gov. Silibilus, or Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh.

    July 7, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. The Blind Lady of Justice

    Looks like Biden's stock just went up.

    July 7, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. Sandra Terreberry

    Heck i wouldn't want to be on any Obama list. He needs to go away and soon at the convention Hillary will have the last say. Bye Bye Obama.
    sandipuma pumapac.org

    July 7, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Truth McTrutherton

    Why is anyone surprised? He wasn't that serious of a contender to begin with.

    July 7, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Amerika

    If only Obama were not such phony. He will say anything, do anything to get elected. His new Hitler-esque convention is just one example.

    He is backed by The very same BIG corporate money that he RAILS against.

    Now he's backing down on his Iraq claims – the rush to the middle now that he's suckered in the entire DNC. He will be presenting the Clinton policies as a solution. How original! What a guy!
    Why not just vote for the real deal- HRC- then? That's what I did.

    The problem is you can't really be all things to all men – and I do mean men! MOST Women saw through the hypocritical, posturing ploys of Obama. Well except for the newbies who fell in love with Obama's image and smile didn't decide on the qualifications, experience or the issues.

    Iraq is being funded entirely by borrowed money. Even if this used car salesman actually leaves in 16 months, he will have to continue to borrow money to do anything he says. The only viable solution here is to STOP SPENDING MONEY. START PAYING BACK MONEY.

    So he can drive us even deeper in debt by staying Iraq while spending money on domestic programs, or he can fail to make good on all his empty promises.

    I'm looking forward to the senate races, since I wouldn't vote for this phony product of the DNC if you paid me! And Barack has more money than he knows what to do with, so he can pay.

    Ask the DNC about "street money." Go ahead, ask.

    July 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  20. Belle

    Hillary Backer for McCain....you MUST be a Republican.

    Choosing another woman over Clinton would be a guaranteed disaster. Clinton does not have baggage...Bill Clinton has baggage, and he is not running for President.

    So this Democrat is voting Independent this year. I would have voted for a joint ticket, but Obama has changed his mind on so many issues that I no longer trust him to keep his word, and once he picked Patti Solis Doyle to be the Chief of Staff for the VP...that guaranteed Clinton would not be the pick.

    July 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  21. Sebastian

    Webb is among serveral VP shortlisters that can also serve in an Obama administration. We can expect Jim to be part of a successful administration.

    July 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  22. zina

    This is perfect because we could not have lost him in the Senate. Their majority is pretty slim there. Very smart of him.

    Sebelious it is...

    July 7, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Big gator

    Here comes Russ Feingold. No Hillary.

    July 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Ex-Republican for Obama

    It's funny how all these morons claim 'no experience' in regards to Obama, and then point to their experienced idiot in the corner whom is making all the wrong decisions on his campaign and running it exactly like the pathetic 8 year history we've had. That's what experience gets you? What dumb-butts these freaks are.

    Oh god, please deliver those misguided McCain voters a brain before November, nobody should go through life that pathetically ignorant.

    A proud Obama supporter because the republicans haven't done a THING right since Reagan. So, yes, I have the experience to NOT vote for the GOP based on their HORRID track record in the past two decades.

    July 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Hussein

    Well back to Wesley Clark!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
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