'Gets My Back Up'

While the chattering class ponders whether John McCain's decision to play host to Charlie Crist, Mitt Romney, and Bobby Jindal is intended to distract attention from the Friday release of the Arizona senator's medical records, a Democratic veep prospect offered a theory as to why Barack Obama is struggling to win the votes of the Scots-Irish Americans who populate states such as Kentucky, West Virginia, and parts of Pennsylvania.

"We shouldn't be surprised at the way they are voting right now," said Webb in an interview with MSNBC. "This is the result of how affirmative action, which was basically a justifiable concept when it applied to African-Americans, expanded to every single ethnic group in America that was not white. And these were the people who had not received benefits and were not getting anything out of it."

Watch the interview here.

Webb, whose book Born Fighting looks at how the Scots-Irish have shaped America, said that he bristles at the suggestion that racism is behind Obama's paltry performance among this group.

"When I hear people say this is racism, it gets my back up a little bit because that's my cultural group," said Webb. "This isn't Selma, 1965."

While laying out the hurdles posed by the legacy of race-based affirmative action, Webb expressed confidence that Obama can overcome them.

"The fact that they would line up and vote this way is not so much a comment on Barack," said Webb. "I think Barack Obama is saying a lot of good things that will appeal to this cultural group in time."

Jessica Smith, a Webb spokesperson, told ABC News that Webb's reference to "in time" refers to this election cycle.

Asked if an Obama-Webb ticket might be the way to bring those two groups to the same table, Webb's spokesperson played it coy.

"I'm not going to answer that question," said Smith.

The kicker:

"If you asked me (if Chelsea would run for office) before Iowa, I would have said, 'No way. She is too allergic to anything we do.' But she is really good at it." --Former President Bill Clinton to People Magazine

On the campaign front. . .

BARACK OBAMA -- 12:00 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Boca Raton, FL

As for the Republicans. . .


-- 1:30 pm ET: Attends roundtable discussion with voters, Union City, CA

-- 6:45 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Stockton, CA

-- 8:00 pm ET: Hold s media availability, Stockton, CA

At the White House. . .


-- 10:00 am ET: Delivers remarks at a Division Review Ceremony, Fort Bragg, NC

-- 1:00 pm ET: Visits Barracks C-4122, Fort Bragg, NC

-- 1:35 pm ET: Participates in All American Memorial Ceremony, Fort Bragg, NC


ABC News' Ron Claiborne and Bret Hovell: McCain's Veepstakes Survivor: 9 Couples, 3 Contenders, 1 Weekend LINK

ABC News' Teddy Davis, Mike Elmore and Talal Al-Khatib: Webb: Affirmative Action Behind Obama Woes LINK

ABC News' Eloise Harper: Clinton Demands Florida, Michigan Votes Count LINK

ABC News' David Chalian: Clinton Wins Ky; Obama Wins Oregon: What's Next? LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Split Victories LINK

ABC News' Bret Hovell: Lobbyist Ties Threaten McCain Image LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Hagel Assails McCain; Lieberman Assails Obama LINK

ABC News' Tahman Bradley: Clinton Debt Means Tough Choices Ahead LINK

ABC News' Rick Klein: Hamilton Jordan Made Private Battles Public LINK

ABC News' Gary Langer: Updating the Vote Count LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: More on Clinton's Popular Vote Claim LINK

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf: Illness & Wedding Bells Among Longest-Serving Senators LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Clinton Willing to Take Fight to the Convention LINK

ABC News' Sunlen Miller: Obama Hits Florida, Focuses on McCain LINK

ABC News' Teddy Davis and John Santucci: Is Obama-Biden the Ticket? LINK

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf: Sunday Comics, Schoolhouse Rock and Teaching Partisan Politics LINK

ABC News' Ed O'Keefe: Madame President Clinton? Chelsea Clinton That Is LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper: Obama Podcast LINK


Clinton Draws '00 Parallel in Delegate Defense
Sen. Clinton cites 2000 election and popular vote defense to rally Floridians. LINK

Obama Hits the Sunshine State
Sen. Obama takes his delegate lead and popularity to Tampa, Fla. LINK

The Numbers Game
ABC's Jake Tapper on the delegate math in the Democratic battle. LINK

Campaign in Six Words
ABC News reporters give their take on the never ending race for the White House. LINK

Why (and How) Women Give to Political Campaigns
Many women prefer to support a cause, rather a person. LINK

A New Way to Donate to Political Candidates
Learn about the Women's Campaign Forum Social Change project. LINK

Obama Focuses on General Election in Fla.
Obama reminds Sunshine State voters he's got the majority of pledged delegates. LINK

Ted Kennedy Leaves Hospital
The senator was discharged after he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. LINK

U.S. Helps Cuba Go Mobile
Bush marks Cuba's independence and pushes for more freedom of expression. LINK

Kimmel: Clinton's 'Idol' Goodbye?
The similarities between Sen. Clinton's speech and an "American Idol" swan song. LINK

Kimmel: The Longest Endorsement
Sen. Robert Byrd tries to find the right words when endorsing Sen. Barack Obama. LINK

What's in Your Wine Library?
From pinot noir to chardonnay, the best wines on a budget. LINK

Chris Dodd Awaits Kennedy's Return
The senator talks about his friend and colleague. LINK

Kennedy: A Beacon for the Nation
Tragedy has always been apart of Ted Kennedy's life and he has always triumphed. LINK

Split Victories for Democrats
Clinton took Kentucky but Obama won Oregon. LINK

The Bottom Line on the Democratic Race
George Stephanopoulos discusses Obama and Clinton's options. LINK

Kennedy Family Crisis
Sen. Ted Kennedy prepares to battle a malignant brain tumor. LINK

Kennedy's Diagnosis
Dr. Tim Johnson talks about what options face the senator. LINK

Barack Obama Touts Change in Iowa
Obama returns to Iowa, rallying a "spirit of change, hope and possibility." LINK

Kentucky Win: Music to Clinton's Ears
Senator says Bluegrass State victory supports her argument about popular vote. LINK

Split Tuesday for Democrats
Hillary Clinton wins Kentucky's primary, while Barack Obama claims Oregon. LINK