Former U.S. Senator from Virginia Jim Webb announced today at the National Press Club in Washington that he has withdrawn from the Democratic primary for president of the United States. However, he says that he is considering launching an independent bid for the presidency in 2016 instead.
“I fully accept that my views on many issues are not compatible with the power structure and nominating base of the Democratic Party. That party is filled with millions of dedicated, hard-working Americans, but its hierarchy is not comfortable with many of the policies that I have laid forth, and, frankly, I’m not that comfortable with many of theirs. For this reason, I’m withdrawing from any consideration of being the Democratic Party’s nominee for the presidency,” said Webb in the above-embedded CNN video.
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Webb added, “This does not reduce in any way my concerns for the challenges facing our country, my belief that I can provide the best leadership in order to meet these challenges, or my intentions to remain fully engaged in the debates that are facing us. How I remain as a voice will depend on what kind of support I am shown in the coming weeks as I meet with people from all sides of America’s political landscape — and I intend to do that.”
NPR notes that Webb said, “Poll after poll shows that a strong plurality of Americans is neither Republican nor Democrat. Overwhelmingly they’re independents. Our political candidates are being pulled to the extremes. They are increasingly out of step with the people they are supposed to serve.”
Webb, who stated that other people say that he often comes across as a “Republican in a room full of Democrats or a Democrat in a room full of Republicans,” answered a reporter’s question as to whether he still considers himself a Democrat by saying, “We will think about that.”
According to CNN, Webb said, “The very nature of our democracy is under siege due to the power structure and the money that finances both political parties.”
He called for “a new Declaration of Independence — not from an outside power but from the paralysis of a federal system that no longer serves the interests of the vast majority of the American people.”
Commenting on Webb’s shift from the Democratic primary to a possible independent presidential bid, 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told The Boston Herald, “I think he should, I’d love to see him as an independent. He’d be wonderful as an independent. He’d be a lot better as an independent than he would as a Democrat because I watched (the first Democratic primary debate) the other night and he was not registering as a Democrat.”
Trump added, “I hope he has a lot of money, because it’s a very expensive process.”
Describing a private conversation that he reportedly had with Webb over the weekend in comments to CNN, the former U.S. Senator’s friend and informal adviser Mudcat Saunders said, “We were just b—-ing about the way our party has moved. They have given up on the South, they have given up on the heartland, on rural America. It is a math game and the math is not going to work. It might work once and it might work twice. We just don’t like the Democratic Party’s strategy.”
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The Truth in Media Project recently released a Consider This video highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber Republicans and Democrats. Watch in the below-embedded video player.
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