James Webb in Meet the Press interviews during 2014


On Civil Rights: Evolution on gay marriage has been good for the country

Q: On gay marriage: You were for civil unions, but not for legalized gay marriage when you ran in 2006. Have you changed?

JIM WEBB: I took some very tough stands in '06. People will look back at the Virginia campaign. There was an anti-gay marriage amendment on the ballot in Virginia. I've got a lot of family ties down in the far Southwest, and I oppose that. And I'm really comfortable with where the evolution has gone.

Q: So you're not ready, so legal in some places, but not legal in others?

WEBB: I think this has been a good thing for the country.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls Oct 5, 2014

On Corporations: If you've got capital, you're feeling pretty good

Q: What about the economic outlook?

JIM WEBB: We are at a crossroads as a nation. When you see the arguments here about economic fairness, the truth is that it really depends on where you're sitting in this country. We've got a stock market that has almost tripled since March of 2009.

Q: You're feeling good?

WEBB: Yeah, exactly: if you've got capital, you're feeling pretty good. But average salaries have gone down, loans to small businesses have actually decreased. And we have a criminal justice system that's embarrassing. And all of the country should be focusing on that too.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls Oct 5, 2014

On Foreign Policy: We need a clearly articulated doctrine for the Mideast

Q: What about phrases like "boots on the ground"? Does that politicize the issues of combat troops, does that have an impact on soldiers?

JIM WEBB: Well, it doesn't. And actually, I think it's fair to say right now that we are at a crossroads as a nation in terms of how we view ourselves, how we say these things to ourselves. And the way that these issues are going to be resolved in the next couple of years will affect us for a very long time. We have not had a clear articulation of what American foreign policy is, basically since the end of the Cold War. So when you're looking at places like Iraq and Syria, you're seeing policies that can't be clearly articulated.

Q: You're basically saying President Obama doesn't have a foreign policy.

WEBB: I'm saying that in terms of a clear doctrine, we have been lacking that for a very long time. And it particularly impacts the Middle East.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls Oct 5, 2014

On Foreign Policy: Arab Spring: stay out if no Americans at risk

Q: The beginning of the Arab Spring was Egypt. Was supporting that a mistake?

WEBB: I think what you were seeing in Egypt was: make sure you've got a clear grasp on where you're going before you leave where you are. This was accentuated in Libya. I spoke very strongly against the notion that a president could unilaterally conduct military operations in an area where we had no treaties at work, we had no Americans under attack or at risk. And you take a look at the end result of Libya, are an enormous number of weapons that are unaccountable, which are probably in Syria, and can you get to the Tripoli airport today? And who's talking about that? Now if you take a look at Syria, and these other parts of Iraq, we now have a situation where we're asking these freedom fighters, or whatever you want to call them, who were going after Assad, to help us go after ISIS.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls Oct 5, 2014

On War & Peace: Iraq invasion empowered Iran & led to sectarian violence

Q: What about the Middle East?

WEBB: If you look at what's going on right now, there are two data points I think that are critical. The first was the decision by the Bush administration to invade and occupy Iraq. Which empowered Iran and unleashed all the sectarian violence. And then it was what I thought was a strategic, the inadvisable strategy of the Arab Spring. And what has happened in Libya as well as Syria as a result.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls Oct 5, 2014

On War & Peace: Anti-ISIS alliances are fluid; we've trained some ISIS

Q: What about Syria and ISIS?

WEBB: Now if you take a look at Syria, and these other parts of Iraq, we now have a situation where we're asking these freedom fighters, or whatever you want to call them, who were going after Assad, to help us go after ISIS. The elements that are fighting there are very fluid in terms of the people who declare their alliances. I would be willing to bet that we had people at the top of ISIS who actually have been trained by Americans at some point.

Source: Meet the Press 2014 interviews of 2016 presidential hopefuls Oct 5, 2014

The above quotations are from Meet the Press interviews during 2014
(David Gregory interviewing candidates for 2014 and 2016 races).
Click here for other excerpts from Meet the Press interviews during 2014
(David Gregory interviewing candidates for 2014 and 2016 races)
.
Click here for other excerpts by James Webb.
Click here for a profile of James Webb.
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Page last updated: Jan 24, 2015