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. Paul

    What loser will say "Yes" to the VP question. The list grows ever shorter. Poor BHO. He has the ball but no one wants to play with him!! Smart people!!

    July 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Disgusted

    LOL. Have you seen the stuff in this guys past? In his sexually explicit books? His hateful comments towards women serving in the military?

    I think he wanted to be VP but realized that he wouldn't be able to get through Obama's vetting process.

    He's a decent man but he's got a lot of baggage.

    July 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Hypathia Lee

    Picking Hagel would really shake up this race and bring change to the halls of Congress.

    July 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Down with Obama

    Yeah, he is too good for Obama!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    LMAO The only ones that will tell him yes, are Biden and Richardson!!
    Obama is going to lose..........big time in November...most people already see that and are starting to bale!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 7, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Julius above Montana

    That's too bad...I was sure it would be Webb.....

    July 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  6. saga4obama

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA....oh my HAHAHA...oh GOd i needed that laugh...thank you all you wonderful Obama opponents, you make me laugh all of the time... now that's said, Webb i think would have been great, but he is right i think he will better serve the country in the Senate...Obama is going to need a strong VP to compliment his Presidency there are a lot of people still in the race, though i do think Hillary would make a great VP, despite the damage her campaign and her supporters have caused...i respect her and what she stands for...

    remember, Obama is selecting VP while McCain is still trying to figure out who should run his campaign...hahahahaha
    John McCain...what a joke

    July 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  7. Linda K.

    History has shown that it's not a good idea to have two senators on the ticket, whether we're talking about Webb or Hillary.

    Obama should choose a governor. I've always been inclined to Sebelius. When I lived in Kansas City, MO she was well-respected there, too–Kansas City is right on the Missouri-Kansas border–so she could help win Missouri as well as Kansas and Ohio.

    More importantly, she is highly qualified.

    July 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  8. My Way

    I’m glad the bitter Hillary supporters are going to vote for McCain. They must think, as do I, that women should NOT have the right to make decisions regarding their own bodies. Roe vs. Wade will be overturned! Can’t wait!

    July 7, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  9. A Good Dem

    I think people are not reading this article correctly. Webb never said ANYTHING about not liking Obama. The Dems don't need to lose a seat in the Senate. It makes sense.

    July 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  10. SDR

    Tim Kaine, outstanding governor of Virginia, Harvard Law, fluent in Spanish for his days as Jesuit missionary in Honduras, Roman Catholic, even from the same small Kansas town as Barack's grandparents!

    July 7, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  11. Candy West Virginia

    I just saw over the weekend the Louisiana Governor turn down VP with John McCain as well as two others but you guys don't say anything about that. Not everyone wants the stress of the Vice presidency, some people are very happy doing what they do. This is by no way a negative reflection against Obama. As for Hillary, heck no! As an avid supporter of Obama I will not vote for him if she is on the ticket.

    July 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  12. michael

    Biden or Nunn? Are you joking? Let's face it, folks, if Obama has any chance of winning it must be with Hillary at his side. To pick someone else is going to alienate too many women and jeopordize his chances of winning. You Hillary haters need to get over it and come to the realization that she is absolutely required as his running mate.

    July 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  13. Phil

    I think his views on women, whether fully in the past or not, would have disqualified him anyway. Otherwise, I like Webb. Sherrod Brown for VP!

    July 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Colin Misquita

    This is absolutley not connected to this news artcile but I was just thinking whoever becomes President – McCain or Obama, there are Hollywood actors who can play their roles....
    McCain – Steve Martin
    Obama – Will Smith

    What do you say???

    July 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. Obama / Clinton 2008

    If Obama doesn't pick Hillary, I think he might pick Evan Bayh from Indiana or Tim Kaine from Virginia. Jim Webb was a risk anyway because too many women didn't like his "0" NARAL score.

    Barack knows he can't pick a woman NOT named "Hillary." Sorry Kathleen Sebelius or Claire McCaskill.

    July 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  16. STAY-AWAY....!!!!!

    Stay away from the short or any vp list HILLARY.

    July 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. Mattk

    Webb would have been an amazing VP, probably more qualified to be pres than any of the dem or repub candidates. He belongsi n the Senate though as he has really worked hard on bipartisan legislation and is a true fighter for the average american. Virginia loves WEBB!!!!

    July 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  18. Jackson

    Clinton. Even though I may have said a few mean things about her, I really hope its Clinton. If not, then Sebelius or Edwards.

    July 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. mdg

    July 7th, 2008 3:55 pm ET – Jeff Long said:

    I wish Obama could have been more like you Senator Webb. Obama hasn't even been a senator for that long.
    Webb got elected in 2006; Obama in 2004. Do the math: Obama has been a Senator longer than Webb.

    July 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. E. de Leon

    Good for the Senator from West Virginia, I believe the real Obama is unfolding before the party convention. And all serious thinker and voices of the real Democratic party are coming out and they believe in their hearts that BHObama has no chance on defeating the Republican nominee. And watch our vote, Asian-American Democrat for Sen.McCain, a lanslide victory for the good man. Hillary 2012!

    July 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. May - Arizona

    I hear some shots of pick me, pick me, from afar. ... Who can it be??
    Well, I'll tell you tomorrow!

    July 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Kind of funny that the Democrats feel the need to be vetted with a VP candidate who has military experience considering the current 5-time deferrment draft dodger currently in office and his little pal, Dumbya the AWOL...

    July 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Bill

    The work ahead will not be easy. If Webb can't handle it, better that he say so now than later.

    July 7, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Obama should choose Gephardt. He will win big with Mr. Gephardt on the ticket.

    July 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. pb

    This comment is for some of the comments that are mentioned in this article. It is so shameful that the "so called patriotic Americans" who made these hateful comments about Obama are hypocrits. You sound off saying that Obama is unpatriotic because of not wearing the flag pin on his lapel; however, you sit in waiting so that you can hurl mean-spirited untrue things about the candidates. If you don't want to vote for him...don't vote, but keep your hate to yourself and pretend that you are a patriotic American. Has it occurred that maybe the reason that these short listed candidates have publicly said they are not interested in the Veep position, because they know they are not going to be picked anyway and this is their way of saving face before the candidates announce their choice? I know... you can't have an open mind because your mind is filled with so much hate...My God, some of you people have so many double standards!!!

    July 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
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