Tag Archives: Jim Webb

Jim Webb, Weighing Third-Party Bid, Says Clinton’s Policies Caused ‘Chaos in Libya’

Former Democratic Senator from Virginia Jim Webb, who said that his “views on many issues are not compatible with the power structure and nominating base of the Democratic Party” as he dropped out of the party’s 2016 presidential primary, is still considering launching an independent run for the White House.

On Saturday, he unleashed an attack via Facebook on Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy record as Secretary of State, saying, “Hillary Clinton should be called to account for her inept leadership that brought about the chaos in Libya, and the power vacuums that resulted in the rest of the region. She’ll need better answers than the recent nonsensical comment that she advocated taking out Muammar Qadaffi in Libya in order to avert a situation like Syria. The predictable chaos in Libya was bad enough, but it also helped bring about the disaster in Syria. Who is taking her to task for this?

[RELATED: Jim Webb Withdraws from Democratic Primary, is Considering Independent Run]

Webb added, “Clinton talked at this last DNC debate about her failure as Secretary of State as if she was successful. While she held that office, the U.S. spent about $2 billion backing the Libyan uprising against Qadaffi. The uprising, which was part of the Arab Spring, led directly to Qaddafi being removed from power and killed by rebel forces in 2011. Now some 2,000 ISIS terrorists have established a foothold in Libya. Sophisticated weapons from Qaddafi’s arsenal—including up to 15,000 man-portable, surface-to-air missiles have apparently fallen into the hands of radical Islamists throughout the region. For a Secretary of State (and a Presidential administration) this is foreign policy leadership at its worst.

Webb, a highly-decorated Vietnam War veteran, Emmy Award winning journalist, and former Secretary of the Navy and Assistant Secretary of Defense under Ronald Reagan, is expected to announce whether he will run for president as an independent at the beginning of 2016.

According to The Washington Post, in the key swing state of Virginia, a University of Mary Washington’s Center for Leadership and Media Studies poll found Webb at “between 13 and 19 percent” as an independent when pitted against theoretical Republican and Democratic challengers, suggesting that even a failed independent bid by Webb could impact the outcome of the 2016 presidential race.

Bloomberg Politics’ Ben Brody wrote, “Since dropping out of the race for the Democratic nomination, Webb has continued to maintain his Webb2016 website, which he has updated with posts about the possibilities of an independent run. On Twitter, he and his fans have been promoting a #WebbNation hashtag. A run by Webb, who often manages his own social media accounts and has also used them recently to promote a petition in favor of his run and to deliver kudos to Bernie Sanders in his battles with the Democratic National Committee (‘nothing more than an arm for the Clinton campaign,’ Webb tweeted), could further complicate the already unpredictable 2016 election.

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Jim Webb Withdraws from Democratic Primary, is Considering Independent Run

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.

[RELATED: Jim Webb Accuses CNN of Rigging Democratic Debate to Benefit Sanders, Clinton]

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.

[RELATED: POLL: Do You Think Jim Webb Should Run as an Independent?]

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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Jim Webb Accuses CNN of Rigging Democratic Debate to Benefit Sanders, Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate and former Senator from Virginia Jim Webb said during a foreign policy discussion with the Council on Foreign Relations on Thursday that he believes that CNN’s October 13 Democratic presidential debate was rigged in advance to give Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders significantly more time than the other candidates.

Noting that Webb ranked a “strong third” in a Slate post-debate poll, CFR event moderator and Slate Group chairman Jacob M. Weisberg asked Webb, who had repeatedly complained to Anderson Cooper during the debate that he was not getting enough time to speak, to comment on his apparent frustration with the debate’s format.

Webb noted that he took second place in post-debate polls by Drudge and Time and said, “I know Karl Rove this morning characterized the different people in the debate and he called me Mr. Angry. I would say, you know, it was either the option in that debate, which was, I’m going to be very frank, it was rigged in terms of who was going to get the time on the floor by the way that [debate moderator] Anderson Cooper was selecting people to supposedly respond to something someone else said.

He added, “I even turned around to Bernie Sanders at one point and said, Bernie, say my name, will you? Say my name. So you know, in that kind of an environment, you know, I was either going to be Mr. Angry or I was going to be a potted plant. That was the only way to try to get into the conversation.

A New York Times tweet, embedded below, features an infographic indicating how much time each candidate spent speaking at the debate. Webb spoke for approximately half as long as Sanders and Clinton.

It’s very difficult to win a debate when you don’t have the opportunity to speak the same amount of time on issues as the other two did,” said Webb. “It’s a reality that the debate was being portrayed as a showdown between Mrs. Clinton and Bernie, but if you’re going to be invited to participate and people are going to judge whether you, quote, ‘won’ or not, at least you should be able to have the kind of time that’s necessary to discuss the issues that you care about, that you’ve worked on.

[RELATED: UPDATE: CNN Lied About “Right-Wing” Extremism Threat Greater Than ISIS]

Webb pointed out his early support of criminal justice reform, noting that it has become a national issue that now enjoys Republican support, as an example of a position that he wished he had more time to discuss at the debate.

But it’s very difficult to make those kinds of points, and also the foreign policy differences that I have had with the past couple of administrations in terms of where we put our priority and these sorts of things, when you can’t talk,” Webb pointed out. “I think I got 14 minutes in two hours—14 minutes. So 14 minutes and 30 percent on a Time poll, I’ll take that for starters here.”

Commenting on his differences on Middle East foreign policy with fellow Vietnam veteran and Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), Webb said, “Where John McCain and I, I think, differ is how to handle the situations in the Middle East. And that probably had more to do with me being in Beirut than being in Vietnam.”

“I can remember being out with a Marine unit in Beirut in 1983 when they were involved in a firefight that became a firefight from multiple parties. You know how Lebanon could be back then. And a Marine turned around to me and said, sir, never get involved in a five-sided argument,” said Webb.

“And I came away with a very strong feeling that we do not belong as an occupying power in that part of the world… We are not a Trotsky nation. We don’t export our ideology at the point of a gun. And I think that’s where Senator McCain and I have had differences in many different situations in that part of the world,” explained Webb.

The former Democratic senator from Virginia used the rest of his hour-long CFR discussion, which can be seen in its entirety in the above-embedded video, to explain in detail those positions that he was not able to fully express during the debate.

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CNN Alters Democratic Debate Criteria to Expand Stage, Allow Last-Minute Biden Entry

CNN adjusted the candidates’ criteria on Monday for its two-hour televised Democratic presidential debate, the first of the season, which will take place at 9 p.m. EST on October 13 at the Wynn Las Vegas hotel and casino.

The Hill is reporting that CNN has expanded the range of dates in which a candidate must meet a 1 percent minimum support requirement in 3 major national polls from 6 weeks prior to the debate to any time between August 1 to October 10 in order to include low-polling former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. CNN has also tweaked the rules to include any qualified candidate that publicly announces his or her candidacy by the day of the debate, clearing a path for Vice President Joe Biden to participate if he decides to run.

In addition to Chafee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I- Vt.), former U.S. Senator Jim Webb, and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley have been invited to face off in the contest.

Though Vice President Biden has yet to decide whether he will enter the race, he has already received substantial levels of support in several qualified major national polls. A newly-released NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found Biden in third place with 17 percent support.

Speaking on the adjustments to accommodate potential candidate Joe Biden, former Democratic National Committee communications director Mo Elleithee, who was reportedly involved in planning the debates, told Politico, “I think it’s the right thing to do. Given everything that’s going on, no one wants to be accused of trying to keep any candidate off the stage. This ensures that no one is. Can you imagine any scenario where Biden announces his candidacy and is not allowed on that stage? It would more or less invalidate the debate if he announced and wasn’t on stage.

University of Michigan director of debate Aaron Kall told The Hill, “Having candidates that don’t have anything to lose is potentially dangerous to front-runners. It only increases the chances of them trying to do a Hail Mary [pass] or land a zinger that can really hurt the leading candidates.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

The ratings-focused mainstream media hopes that Biden will jump in the race to set up a Clinton-Biden showdown. University of Virginia Center for Politics political analyst Geoffrey Skelley said, “There’s no question the media wants Biden to run; from the drama standpoint, having Biden and Clinton go at it really raises the bar.

Skelley added, commenting on the inclusion of lower-polling candidates, “On the campaign trail [the Democratic candidates have] been a little reticent to overly criticize [Clinton] but they might if they realize this is their one shot. Sanders actually might benefit in that sense that if he is in a position where the three lower-tier guys are attacking Clinton.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has been tapped to moderate the debate with help from correspondent Dana Bash, anchor Don Lemon, and CNN en Espanol anchor Juan Carlos.

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Jim Webb Announces Presidential Run

By Alex Pappas

Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb said Thursday afternoon he will seek the Democratic nomination for president, contrasting himself with Hillary Clinton by saying he would provide “leadership you can trust.”

“After many months of thought, deliberation and discussion, I have decided to seek the office of the presidency of the United States,” Webb wrote in a lengthy letter posted on his campaign website.

Even Webb acknowledges he enters the race as a long shot.

“I understand the odds, particularly in today’s political climate where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money,” he said.

In what could be seen as a contrast with Clinton, Webb said: “We need a president who understands leadership, who has a proven record of actual accomplishments, who can bring about bipartisan solutions, who can bring people from both sides to the table to get things done. And that leader needs to gather the great minds of our society and bring them into a new administration and give them direction and ask them to help us solve the monumental challenges that face us.”

Webb is the fifth Democrat to announce a presidential run. The others are Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Webb’s path to victory, and natural constituency, is unclear: on some issues, like war, he is positioned to the left of Clinton; on others, like guns and cultural issues, he is to her right.

Just last week, Webb irked liberals by penning a defense of those who memorialize the confederacy with the Confederate flag.

But he was welcomed into the race by the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who referenced his military experience.

“I welcome Jim Webb’s bid to seek the Democratic nomination for President in 2016,” said DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “Senator Webb has a long and distinguished record of service to his country, both in the Marines and in public office. His leadership on the Post-9/11 GI Bill is a sterling example of the Democratic commitment to ensuring the opportunities available for our veterans when they return home.”

The Daily Caller reported last week that Webb would enter the race soon.

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Jim Webb Stands Up For People Who Memorialize The Confederacy

By Alex Pappas

Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, a southern Democrat contemplating a run for president, encouraged people on Wednesday to understand the “complicated history of the Civil War” when calling for the removal of the Confederate flag across the country.

“This is an emotional time and we all need to think through these issues with a care that recognizes the need for change but also respects the complicated history of the Civil War,” Webb wrote in a post on Facebook.

Responding to the shooting in Charleston last week, the governors of South Carolina and Alabama have called for the removal of the flag off the capitol grounds.

Responding to the removal of the Confederate flag in states across the country, Webb said: “The Confederate Battle Flag has wrongly been used for racist and other purposes in recent decades. It should not be used in any way as a political symbol that divides us.”

Webb’s statement — which could appeal to southerners who view the flag not as a symbol of hate, but of history and regional pride — is at odds with the more liberal wing of his party. Hillary Clinton, for example, said Wednesday that she would like to see stores across the country stop selling Confederate flags.

Webb also said: “We should also remember that honorable Americans fought on both sides in the Civil War, including slave holders in the Union Army from states such as Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware, and that many non-slave holders fought for the South. It was in recognition of the character of soldiers on both sides that the federal government authorized the construction of the Confederate Memorial 100 years ago, on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.”

“This is a time for us to come together, and to recognize once more that our complex multicultural society is founded on the principle of mutual respect,” he said.

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