Former Democratic Virginia Sen. Jim Webb expressed interest in running for president in an interview Monday on the public radio program “The Diane Rehm Show,” while also leveling some criticisms at the Obama administration.
“My wife and I are just thinking about what to do next. I care a lot about where the country is, and we’ll be sorting that out,” Webb said when asked about possible presidential ambitions.
The host replied that not only was Webb refusing to deny presidential hopes, but that he was making an “expression of interest.”
“Well, if you look at how I ran for the Senate, I announced nine months to the day before the election with no money and no campaign staff. It takes me a while to decide things and I’m not going to say one way or another,” Webb said.
Webb, a Vietnam veteran and former Secretary of the Navy who served in the U.S. Senate from 2007 to 2013, said that he is not interested in being vice president.
“No, I had some discussions in ’08 about that and I just really don’t care. It wouldn’t be a good fit for me,” Webb said. “In terms of governmental structure and that sort of thing I just don’t think I’d be a very good vice president.”
Webb also made some pointed criticisms of the current administration’s foreign and domestic policy.
“I don’t think we’ve become more isolationist. I think people have become frustrated because they can’t see a clear expression of what our national security interests are, which would calm a lot of people down about what we’re doing around the world,” Webb said. “And I think that same principle applies here at home.”
“The thing that concerns me the most is that we are kind of bouncing from issue to issue without a clear articulation of what the national security interest of the United States actually is,” Webb added.
While Hillary Clinton continues to benefit from the narrative that Elizabeth Warren could challenge her from the left in a Democratic primary – establishing Clinton as a moderate in the public consciousness – Webb represents a threat to Clinton from the Democratic right.
“Remember when Jimmy Carter was president, and people were saying that the job had become too complex, that maybe you needed three people to be president?” Webb said in the interview. “And Ronald Reagan came in – I say this as a Democrat – Ronald Reagan came in and he was a leader. And he knew whatever people might have thought of him issue by issue, he got good people around him. He gave very clear signals about where he wanted the country to go and things got back on track.”