James Webb on Principles & Values

Democratic Sr Senator


Democratic Party gives voice to people with no voice

The reason I've decided to run as a Democrat is it has been the party that gives people who otherwise have no voice in the corridors of power a voice. And that is not determined by race. I have always supported affirmative action for African Americans. That's the way the program was originally designed because of their unique history in this country, with slavery and the Jim Crow laws that followed.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 13, 2015

I've always been willing to take on unpopular complex issues

If you look at my record, I've always been willing to take on complicated, unpopular issues, the complex issues, and work them through in order to have the solution. We did it with criminal justice reform. I know how to lead. I did it in Vietnam, I did it in the Pentagon, I did it in the Senate, and if you will help me overcome this cavalcade of financial irregularities and money that is poisoning our political process, I am ready to do that for you in the White House.
Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas , Oct 13, 2015

Snubbed Pres. Bush when Bush asked about his son in Iraq

Webb never apologized for his shockingly rude behavior to President Bush at a White House reception for new member of Congress. First, Webb refused to go through the receiving line to shake Bush's hand. Then, when Bush later approached him and asked, "How's your boy?" referring to Webb's son in Iraq, who had been the centerpiece of Webb's Senate campaign, Webb said, "I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President." Bush said, "I didn't ask you that, I asked how's your boy?" Webb snottily replied, "That's between me and my boy."

Paul Krugman wrote, "Good for him. We need people in Washington who are willing to stand up to the bully in chief." Frank Rich said, "You understand why Jim Webb was tempted to slug the president at a White House reception." Democrats treat antiwar military veterans as if they're just another special-interest victim group. Any liberal who has worn the uniform has carte blanch to be a boor and a cad. Webb was a victim--he fought, Bush didn't.

Source: Guilty, by Ann Coulter, p.172 , Nov 10, 2009

Opponent's "macaca" comment won election for Webb

In the 2006 midterm elections, Virginia senator George Allen (R) found himself at the center of a media firestorm when he used the word "macaca" to refer to an Indian-American campaign worker from opponent Jim Webb's camp. As some commentators pointed out, "macaca" is a derogatory word meaning "monkey" that originated in North Africa, and Allen's mother was born and raised in Tunisia, a former French colony in North Africa. The videotaped incident became a national story immediately, prompting extensive coverage in the Washington Post (which has many readers in Virginia) and wall-to-wall coverage on the cable shows. By some accounts, the gaffe effectively torpedoed the Allen campaign. Allen would go on to lose the election, despite having been touted as not just a shoo-in for reelection but a potential U.S. presidential candidate as well.
Source: Free Ride, by David Brock and Paul Waldman, p.103 , Mar 25, 2008

Voted with Democratic Party 90.1% of 324 votes.

Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), was scored by the Washington Post on the percentage of votes on which a lawmaker agrees with the position taken by a majority of his or her party members. The scores do not include missed votes. Their summary:
Voted with Democratic Party 90.1% of 324 votes.
Overall, Democrats voted with their party 88.4% of the time, and Republicans voted with their party 81.7% of the time (votes Jan. 8 through Sept. 8, 2007).
Source: Washington Post, “US Congress Votes Database” , Sep 8, 2007

Endorsed Allen in 2000; turned away because of Iraq blunder

Q: In Nov. 2000, you endorsed George Allen. How can you endorse someone and then run against him?

WEBB: A) I thought George Allen would be a leader, and B) I think that the Republican Party has reached the point where it’s mostly negativity rather than affirmative leadership. I affiliated with the Republican Party based on national security issues toward the end of the Vietnam War, and was never particularly comfortable with them, particularly on economic issues. And what you’ve seen over the last six years is a war that is an incredible strategic blunder of historic proportions.

Q: Did you go see Sen. Allen and talk to him about the war in Iraq before it began?

WEBB: Yes, I did. I spent an hour with Sen. Allen discussing with him that there was not an exit strategy because the people in this administration did not intend to leave. And from that point forward I decided that, although I had perhaps a personal regard for him on one level, politically that I could not support him anymore.

Source: VA Senate debate on Meet the Press with Tim Russert, p. 1 , Sep 17, 2006

America doesn’t lack ideas, it lacks leaders

America doesn’t lack ideas, it lacks leaders willing to stand up and make courageous decisions. Jim Webb was born fighting. He has fought-and continues to fight-to protect American values.

Jim understands the many challenges facing Americans today: an unpopular war, skyrocketing health care costs, a shrinking job market and rising inequality in society. Jim believes in the strength of American character and the ingenuity of the American people.

Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, webbforsenate.com, “Issues” , May 2, 2006

Progressive approach prioritizing fairness and justice

Jim believes that solutions will be found using a progressive approach to policy that prioritizes fairness and justice, focused on four major themes:
  • Refocusing America’s foreign and defense policies in a way that truly protects our national interests and seeks harmony where they are not threatened.
  • Repairing the country’s basic infrastructure, which has eroded badly over the past decade, and developing more creative ways to assist disaster-stricken areas such as those in New Orleans and along the Gulf coast.
  • Reinstituting notions of true fairness in American society, including issues of race, class, and economic advantage; and
  • Restoring the Constitutional role of the Congress as an equal partner, reining in the unbridled power of the Presidency.
    Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, webbforsenate.com, “Issues” , May 2, 2006

    Marines take care of their people; politicians have not

    I was a Marine. My brother was a Marine. My son is a Marine. And in the Marines we have a creed - a theory of leadership specific to the Corps but representing an idea that applies to all Americans. Take care of your people.

    Never send them into harm’s way unless you can justify their risk, and are willing to share that risk. Believe in them. Support them. And never waste a life. Any Marine will tell you that this creed cuts across political boundaries, racial boundaries, and class boundaries.

    But we have been letting them down. Our politics has been letting them down; our leaders have been letting them down. Unfortunately, Iraq is just one symptom of a much more seriously troubled administration. And George Allen is in the middle of this.

    Source: Campaign announcement speech , Apr 28, 2006

    Secretary of the Navy, published author; decorated veteran

    Why James Webb ? James Webb was the first Naval Academy graduate in history to become Secretary of the Navy: Source: Draft Webb website, www.draftjameswebb.com , Jan 3, 2006

    Converted from Republican; supported Robb & Kerry