Oliver North doesn’t often speak glowingly of Democratic politicians.
But during an appearance on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show Friday, North heaped praise on former one-term Democratic Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who hinted last month that he is considering a 2016 White House run.
“Jim Webb is a noble warrior,” North, who was a classmate of Webb’s at the Naval Academy, said. “He is a brave man. He is a war hero. He picked the wrong darn party to run for the Senate in. He stepped aside from it. My sense is he is probably not going to run because politics, particularly in Virginia, is a very rough and tumble business.”
A decorated Vietnam veteran like North, Webb served as secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration. Catalyzed by his opposition to the Iraq war, he entered Virginia’s U.S. Senate race in 2006 and scored an upset win over incumbent Republican George Allen.
When Hewitt pressed North on whether he thinks Webb should run, North didn’t explicitly answer the question, but he did pay Webb perhaps the best compliment one could of a politician considering a presidential run.
“Look, I’m a Republican,” North said. “I desperately hope that we end up with a Republican president. And I think the dog catcher in Clark County, Virginia where I live would make a better dog gone president than the one we’ve got today.”
“But, look,” he continued, “Jim Webb would make a great president, but I’m hoping that we have a Republican.”
When North unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in Virginia in 1994, Webb wasn’t quite as complimentary. Endorsing North’s Democratic opponent Chuck Robb, Webb slammed North’s campaign as dishonest and criticized North for his role in the Iran-Contra Affair when he was a National Security Council staffer in the Reagan administration.
WATCH: Oliver North praises Jim Webb