Jim Webb decides against independent presidential run
Speaking before the Dallas World Affairs Council on Thursday, Webb said he and his advisors had "looked at the possibility of an independent candidacy. Theoretically it could be done, but it is enormously costly and time sensitive."
"I don’t see the fundraising trajectory where we could make a realistic run,” he said.
Webb, a highly decorated Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, whose career has also included work as an Emmy-winning television journalist, Hollywood producer, bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction and Secretary of the Navy, dropped out of the Democratic Party's presidential nomination contest in late October.
In a National Press Club speech at the time, Webb left the door open to an independent run, saying that he was "thinking about all my options" and stressing that such a campaign "depends on what kind of support I receive."
Webb stoked speculation that he was leaning toward an independent run in January, when he hired Sam Jones, the former national finance director of the Draft Biden super PAC.
Webb spokesman Craig Crawford told AMI Newswire in January that the Jones hire was intended to "help us examine what is now the decisive issue: how to pay for (an independent presidential run)."
"Both parties, in my view, have moved away from the major concerns of the average American," Webb said in his remarks Thursday.
“We have not had a clear statement of national security policy since the end of the Cold War," Webb said. “And I see no one running for president today who has a firm understanding of the elements necessary to build a national strategy.”
With Webb out of consideration, eyes turn to former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Bloomberg staffers have said he is considering an independent run, should it appear the major political parties will nominate Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump as their general election candidates.
Last month, pollster Frank Luntz issued a memorandum showing Bloomberg would be able to mount a strong, nationwide effort that could, Luntz believes, "quite literally turn this election upside down."