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Former Va. Sen. James Webb won’t rule out White House bid

- The Washington Times - Monday, May 19, 2014

Former Virginia Sen. James H. Webb Jr. refused Monday to rule out a run for president, saying he is weighing his options.

"My wife and I are just thinking about what to do next. I care a lot about where the country is, and we will be sorting that out," Mr. Webb, a Democrat, said during an appearance on the Diane Rehm Show, on which he was promoting his new book "I Heard My Country Calling." "It takes me a while to decide things. I am not going to say one way or the other."

Mr. Webb, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who also served as secretary of the Navy under President Reagan, said he is not interested in being vice president.

"It wouldn't be a good fit for me," he said.

Mr. Webb climbed onto the national political stage during the 2006 election when he erased a 20-percentage-point deficit in the polls to defeat incumbent George Allen, helping Democrats capture the Senate.

During his term in office, Mr. Webb helped passed a landmark GI bill that increased education benefits to veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and raised concerns about how the United States lacks a clear articulation of its national security interests.

He did not seek re-election in 2012, choosing to step away from politics to focus on his writing.

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, won the seat, defeating Mr. Allen.

"When I left the Senate, I decided that I would stop all interviews, editorials, political events, everything for a year — just to kind of clear the air and get my independence back quite frankly," Mr. Webb said. "I am very happy to now begin arguing, debating, more publicly some of my concerns on a lot of our issues."

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