Jim Webb announces White House candidacy
© Getty Images
Former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) has officially entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, he announced on his website Thursday afternoon.
 
Webb, who spent one term in the Senate before retiring in 2013, called for a “fresh approach” to solving the nation’s biggest problems and a leader who can stand up to the “shadow elites [of] our political process” in a statement.
 
ADVERTISEMENT
He faces long odds of defeating favorite Hillary Clinton or usurping Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as her main foil, but has polled ahead of former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley in some recent polls. 
 
But Webb is not deterred by polls that have him in the low single digits, compared to Sanders’ mid-teens and Clinton’s high fifties and sixties.
 
“I understand the odds, particularly in today’s political climate where fair debate is so often drowned out by huge sums of money," he said in the statement. "I know that more than one candidate in this process intends to raise at least a billion dollars — some estimates run as high as two billion dollars — in direct and indirect financial support."
 
“Our fellow Americans need proven, experienced leadership that can be trusted to move us forward from a new President’s first days in office.”
 
His message touts his military experience as a company commander in Vietnam and as an assistant secretary of defense and secretary of the Navy. 
 
He also directly takes on Clinton’s record by arguing he would not have voted for the Iraq War if he had been a senator at the time and would not have used military force in Libya during the Arab Spring.
 
Clinton voted to authorize that war, a decision she’s since said was a mistake, and she played in integral role in the Obama administration’s support of Libyan rebels to oust Muammar Gaddafi.
 
Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, another Democratic long-shot, has also attacked Clinton on her Iraq vote.
 
- Updated at 2:34 p.m.