Democrat Jim Webb pulls out of presidential race

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb announced he’s pulling out of the race for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States on Tuesday.

“Some people say I’m a Republican who became a Democrat,” said Webb to a room of reporters in Washington. “Our country is more important than a label.”

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Webb explained he is still considering a run for President as an Independent.

“Americans are disgusted by all this talk of Republicans and Democrats – calling each other – the enemy,” he said. “I know what an enemy really is… the other party is not the enemy… they’re the opposition.”

Webb recalled his military service and highlighted the need for any democracy to have opposition parties. Webb said he has never fully agreed with either major political party’s platforms.

“My basics beliefs, principles of leadership… have never changed,” said Webb.

The former Virginia senator dealt with some criticism from Democrats on the ground in New Hampshire and Iowa that he has not campaigned. Webb responded that his campaign did not have the same level of funding to pay for travel.

“We had a very small staff,” he said.

Webb plans to wait several weeks before he decides whether to campaign as an Independent. He said now that he’s no longer in the Democratic race he can talk more candidly with people than before.

“I feel much freer now having cleared the air to do that,” said Webb.

He did not get specific on a date for an announcement or indicate if he will keep staffers on the payroll.

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