Webb, 68, said he is looking for a “support base” for a potential campaign. The decorated Marine Corps veteran, who served in the Senate from 2006-2012 and as Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration, recently conducted a three-day, 800-mile tour of Iowa, and has plans to visit New Hampshire in October.
Webb, who largely focused on foreign policy and the economy in his speech Tuesday, is seen as an intriguing challenger to presumptive Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
He’s an unabashed economic populist who in the 2007 Democratic State of the Union rebuttal said the health of the economy shouldn’t be measured “with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street.”
“True fairness is not an impossible dream,” Webb said. “Those at the top have continued to separate themselves from the rest of our society.”
On foreign policy, Webb is staunch opponent of U.S. interventionism, having opposed the Iraq war in 2002 and U.S. involvement in Libya in 2011.
In the Senate, Webb opposed Clinton’s proposal to arm moderate Syrian rebels against the Assad regime. Today, he referred to U.S. policy in the Middle East as a “tangled mess,” but declined to hold Clinton responsible for the region’s current state when asked to evaluate her performance as secretary of state.
“I think that’s a question that really should be directed at Secretary Clinton. I’m not here to undermine her,” he said.