Webb says Democratic Party has lost its message
Former U. S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., gave a preview of his possible stump speech Wednesday during an annual media gathering in Richmond. Webb, who has formed a presidential exploratory committee, fielded questions on topics ranging from national security to immigration, while refusing to draw comparisons with presumed Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Webb told the media who gathered at the Richmond Times-Dispatch for the annual Associated Press Day at the Capital that he would decide over the next few months whether to mount a campaign for the Democratic nomination for president.
The decision, he said, would be based on “our own analytics” and not on what Clinton decides to do.
The former senator, who did not seek reelection when his first term ended in 2012, said the Democratic Party has “lost the message that made it great for so many years. That message was to take care of the working people, take care of the people who aren’t in the corridors of power … The Democratic Party has basically turned into a party of special interest groups,” he said.
Asked what would make him a different candidate than Clinton, Webb refused comment, saying he didn’t want to compare himself to other candidates.
Webb, who defeated Republican Sen. George Allen in 2006, gave a brief outline of his platform. “We need to revamp our national security. It’s been on autopilot since 9/11,” he said.
After the terrorist attacks, it was understandable that a lot of powers moved to the presidency, he added, but that needs to be re-examined.
Webb also wants to reform the nation’s criminal justice system to promote economic fairness, and see America take a stand on immigration. While he said President Barack Obama’s recent executive order on immigration appears to fall within his presidential powers, more work needs to be done.
Obama's plan allows about 4.4 million people, who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, to stay in the country temporarily, without threat of deportation. “We need to match our immigration policies with the needs of the U.S. economically and in terms of our views on humanitarian issues,” Webb said.