July 11th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Wolfson says Clinton not being formally vetted for VP

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/11/art.ticket.gi.jpg caption="A former Clinton adviser says Obama is not formally vetting the New York senator."]

(CNN) - Is the so-called Democratic 'dream ticket' off the table?

Despite speculation that Barack Obama's presidential campaign is seriously considering Hillary Clinton for the No. 2 spot on the Democratic presidential ticket, a former senior advisor to Clinton said Thursday he doesn't think the New York senator is being formally considered for the job.

Howard Wolfson, the former Clinton campaign communications director, told Fox News Thursday he isn't aware of any official effort on behalf of the Obama campaign that suggests the Illinois senator is considering his former rival for his running mate.

"Not as far as I know," Wolfson said when asked if Clinton had been "asked to participate in the vetting process for VP."

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But the longtime Clinton confidante quickly added there is more information available in the public record about the former presidential candidate "than just about any public figure in America."

"She's been vetted now for a long time - she's got thirty years of taxes in the public record and financial disclosure forms. She ran for president for 18 months and every news organization in America had multiple teams of reporters look at all aspects at her career and her biography," he said. "So there's a lot of information out about her that I know Senator Obama is privy too, that may be sufficient for him to make whatever decision he wants to make."

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The comments come amid reports the Obama campaign has asked other public officials to hand over information about themselves as part of a formal vice presidential vetting process, including former presidential candidate Chris Dodd.

The five-term Connecticut senator said Thursday that he has been asked to provide "a lot of stuff."

“There’s been some inquiries, yeah,” he told the Associated Press. “They ask for a lot of stuff. I’ll leave it there." The Obama campaign and Dodd’s Senate office have yet to comment on the report, though the Republican National Committee has already leveled attacks on Obama for considering the Connecticut senator, in light of accusations he received preferred loans from Countrywide Financial – the same attack that led to the resignation of the original head of the Illinois senator’s vice presidential search team.

The Obama campaign also reportedly approached Virginia Sen. Jim Webb about the job, followed by an announcement from the freshman senator that he had officially taken himself out of the running.

Other potential candidates for the position are remaining far more circumspect about their interaction with the Obama campaign.

"The decision and timetable for the best person to help Sen. Obama lead the country is entirely up to him. All of us who support Sen. Obama have been asked to direct questions about his choice for vice president to the campaign," Kathleen Sebelius, the popular Kansas governor said in a Thursday statement.

"I'm not going to talk about it," longtime Obama supporter and freshman Missouri senator Claire McCaskill said Wednesday.

UPDATE: Adam Parkhomenko, the founder of Voteboth.com, said Friday it's time Clinton is asked directly if she is being vetted for VP.

"It's time to ask Hillary if she is being vetted. It's not responsible to assume she is not being vetted because a former campaign adviser said he does not know," he said.

soundoff (189 Responses)


    July 11, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. Can we just be American?

    Please allow the Obama camp to choose the right party mate.... why do we not read about McCain choices ... Obama will pick the right person for the job when he is ready. Obama 08

    July 11, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Republican for Obama

    He doesn't need her! But he'd do great with her! I AM NOT anti Hillary Clinton however she has attacked and hurt him beyond being able to fairly accept the VP seat.

    Obama will be president.

    Obama '08

    July 11, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  4. BH

    I am glad that she will not be a part of the sinking ship.

    July 11, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  5. John

    Let the Clinton crazies begin with the "That's It! I'm voting for McCain!" talk in 3...2...1....

    July 11, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Belle

    How is this news CNN? We already knew Obama was not going to pick Clinton based on his hiring of Patti Doyle for the VP Chief of Staff.

    Why don't you vet the candidates and do some real investigative journalism so us voters can decide?

    July 11, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Will in Richmond, VA

    There really doesn't seem to be much of a story here.

    Her record has been public forever so who needs a formal vetter for her? This doesn't mean she is not being considered. Obama has said from the beginning that she was on anyone's short list including his. What could a vetter find out that he doesn't already know?

    Stirring up trouble, CNN. Gonna get all the Clintonites up in arms for no good reason.

    July 11, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Dan

    Wow, is Wolfson still campaigning for Hillary? He just won't give up. Why doesn't he get out on the street corner and beg for money to pay back her millions. That would be helpful.

    Obama 08

    July 11, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. carol

    Just a few words for Senator Obama: You had a tough campaign and you won. Your rival was/is the strongest woman in America. One who stood with her head high and was disrespected in every sense of the word, Because she love her country and want what is best, she joined hands with you, to unite the Demogratic party, and confident they will win the General Elections.
    You know what a fighter she is. Don't you think it is only fair in all honesty, that you should choose Senator Hilary Clinton as your VP????. If you don't choose her, I will never vote again in any election.

    July 11, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. Whitney Patrick

    Thank goodness! Hilary on Obama's ticket is not a dream team and everyone knows it. Her campaign was not synonymous to his and having her in the White House doesn't scream change.

    I would love to see John Edwards on the ticket! We need Edwards!

    July 11, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Jeff Miller

    I really think that he should pick Sen. Clinton to be his VP. They would be such a good team together. They would win the White House in a heart beat.

    July 11, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Military Vet from VA

    Aren't we tired of this question/issue yet. Clinton will not be VP I don't know why this is still news. To those who say they won't vote in November if Clinton isn't VP – have at it. I for one am sick to death of politics.

    July 11, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This sounds like there is something "speculative" in Hillary's files that we the public aren't privy to. When Hillary first started her campaign she refused to release her library files so maybe there is something damaging in her files and if so I hope it isn't disclosed. I support Obama but Hillary is still a Great First Lady.

    July 11, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. Ed

    Well, first of all I don't think anybody should be VP who owes so much money. Hillary owes millions and until she pays her debt she shouldn't be thinking about being on anybody's ticket.

    Pay your debt Hillary and go back to work for the good people of New York.

    July 11, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  15. Ted

    Hillary, Hillary, Hillary–she like a gnat that doesn't go away. Who cares about her?

    July 11, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. Steve

    Aaaaand....cue the Operation Chaos operatives pretending to be "Hillary supporters for McCain".

    July 11, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. E

    I guess Obama wants to lose.

    July 11, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  18. Jeannie

    Who needs the vice-presidency anyway? So Hillary has debt.... who doesn't? Who needs whom in this argument? Clinton isn't in the running for the presidency and doesn't need anybody. Obama needs each and every one of Clinton's supporters to beat McCain. Guess what? He won't get it!

    July 11, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  19. Myst

    you should be so lucky.- Sign me-Writing Her In.

    July 11, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  20. Cristina Kevia

    I would love to see Hillary and Obama on the same ticket.

    IT will be a great thing for this country.

    July 11, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  21. wanda Williams

    Obama, Is making a big miistake not having Hilary Clinton his vice president .I am out a lot and do a lot of talking ,if he does not name her all her suport will go to McCaine .The women are the most upset.

    July 11, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  22. Interesting

    Wolfson couldn't figure out Obama before, why would he know what's going on now. He's just practising causing trouble for democrats now that he's part of Fix News.

    July 11, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. LynnB

    Let him NOT pick her and watch him lose – can't wait.

    July 11, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  24. David from Ohio

    I'm very happy to know that Hillary's former advisers are being cut out of any role in Obama's campaign. I'm sure Obama is seriously considering Hillary as a running mate.

    July 11, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  25. Sue in CT

    A good solid choice would be Joe Biden for Democratic VP. Whether Obama or McCain wins in November, the VP selection is going to be very important since both candidates fall short in either foreign or domestic policy.

    July 11, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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