Former Senator Webb rules out independent presidential bid

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb, who dropped his bid for the Democratic Party presidential nomination last October, told a Texas foreign affairs group on Thursday that he had studied an independent bid for the White House and decided against it.

"We looked at the possibility of an independent candidacy. Theoretically it could be done, but it is enormously costly and time sensitive, and I don't see the fundraising trajectory where we could make a realistic run," Webb told the World Affairs Council of Dallas, according to a statement from his spokesman.

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In his speech to the council, Webb called for a vigorous foreign policy debate in the presidential campaign and said neither political party appeared to be addressing the needs of most voters.

"We have not had a clear statement of national security policy since the end of the Cold War," he said. "And I see no one running for president today who has a firm understanding of the elements necessary to build a national strategy."

Webb is a decorated war veteran who served in the Vietnam War and was Navy secretary during the administration of Republican President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of 10 books and an Emmy award-making journalist and filmmaker.

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Former Senator Webb rules out independent presidential bid
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13: Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb takes part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, speaks at the Iowa State Fair, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Democratic presidential candidate, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, speaks during the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO Presidential Forum, Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Altoona, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., speaks at the National Sheriffs’ Association presidential forum, Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Democratic presidential candidate former Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., speaks during the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame Dinner, Friday, July 17, 2015, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb talks with employees during a tour of the Rippey Wind Farm, Monday, June 15, 2015, in Grand Junction, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, center, talks with employees as he tours the Rippey Wind Farm, Monday, June 15, 2015, in Grand Junction, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Jim Webb, former senator from Virginia, leads an Urbandale Democrats Flag Day gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance in Urbandale, Iowa, U.S., on Sunday, June 14, 2015. Webb, a possible 2016 U.S. democratic presidential candidate, is on a three-day visit to Iowa. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
URBANDALE, IA - JUNE 14: Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb signs an autograph after speaking at the Urbandale Democrats Flag Day Celebration on June 14, 2015 in Urbandale, Iowa. Webb is on a three-day tour of Iowa while he continues to explore his potential in a bid for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Jim Webb, former senator from Virginia, smiles while speaking to an attendee at the George Mason University School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Thursday, June 4, 2015. Webb, a possible 2016 U.S. democratic presidential candidate, said the U.S. needs a 'clearly articulated foreign policy statement' during his speech. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MASON CITY, IA - APRIL 12: Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) looks on during a fundraiser for Iowa House Democrats representatives Todd Prichard and Sharon Steckman at CHOP Restaurant on April 12, 2015 in Mason City, Iowa. Former Sen. Webb is considering a run for president in 2016. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Webb ended his bid for the Democratic nomination in October after only four months, acknowledging his more conservative political views were out of sync with many of the party's leaders and primary voters.

He indicated at the time that he planned to review his options and talk to people and groups who have urged him to run for president as an independent candidate.

"I've worked with both parties, including as an official in the Reagan administration and as a Democrat in the Senate. Both parties, in my view, have moved away from the major concerns of the average American," he told the World Affairs Council of Dallas.

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