Obama: I’m Not Running For VP

By Jennifer Parker

Mar 10, 2008 1:55pm

ABC News’ David Wright, Sunlen Miller and Andy Fies Report: Sen. Barack Obama pushed back hard Monday against the notion of a "dream ticket" with him in the number two spot

In recent days, Sen. Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton have both floated the idea of a joint ticket as a way to settle the nomination, suggesting that’s where the race is headed. 

On a conference call with reporters Monday, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson argued Obama hasn’t passed the "commander-in-chief test" but suggested he may pass before the Democratic party’s convention in Denver this August in time to be considered as a vice-presidential nominee.

"We do not believe that, as of this point, Senator Obama has passed that key commander-in-chief test," Wolfson said.

"Senator Clinton will not choose any candidate who has not, at the time of choosing, passed the national security threshold – period. But we have a long way to go between now and Denver, and it’s not something that she is prepared to rule out at this point. But certainly anyone who is chosen as vice presidential candidate needs to be prepared to be commander-in-chief," Wolfson said.

Today, before an energetic crowd in Columbus MS, Obama not only made clear he’s not interested, but also suggested the Clinton’s offer is presumptuous and offensive.

Watch the VIDEO HERE

"With all due respect: I have won twice as many states as Senator Clinton; I have won more of the popular vote than Senator Clinton; I have more delegates than Senator Clinton," Obama said.  "So I don’t know how someone in 2nd place is offering the vice presidency to the person in first place."

Obama also questioned how the Clinton campaign could argue, in the same breath, that he is not ready to be commander in chief.

"I don’t understand," Obama said.  "If I’m not read how come you think I’d be such a great VP."

In a May 1992 interview with CBS, Bill Clinton outlined his own criteria for VP, saying that the most important quality is finding someone who would be a good president "if, God forbid, something happened to me the week after I took office."

Obama argued he is better equipped than Clinton to serve in the Oval Office: "The most important thing when you answer the phone at 3AM is what kind of judgment you have, not how long you’ve been in Washington.  And I believe I have shown better judgment than Sen. Clinton."

Obama suggested the Clinton VP talking points are an effort to hoodwink the electorate, by suggesting the voters can have both Clinton and Obama.

"Am I clear?  I want to make sure I’m absolutely clear," Obama said.  "You are going to have to make a choice.  Are you going with the past or the future?"

As if to make sure he was being crystal clear, Obama added once more: "I am not running for Vice President." 

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