Former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb says he may vote for Trump over Clinton

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Former Democratic presidential candidate Jim Webb, whose centrist campaign folded not long after the first primary debate, said Friday he won't vote for party front-runner Hillary Clinton – and is open to giving Republican favorite Donald Trump his vote instead.

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"No, I would not vote for Hillary Clinton," said Webb, a former Democratic senator from Virginia, when asked on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" if he could support her. When it comes to Trump, he added, "I'm not sure yet. I don't know who I'm gonna vote for."

Though he served with her in the Senate, "it's nothing personal about Hillary Clinton," Webb told hosts Joe Scarborough and Willie Geist. A vote for Clinton, he said, is a vote for the status quo, while a vote for Trump is a vote to blow up a gridlocked, dysfunctional system of government.

"The reason Donald Trump is getting so much support right now is not because of the 'racists,' et cetera, et cetera," the former senator said, dismissing the problematic support Trump's getting from white supremacists like former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. "It's because a group of people are seeing him as the only one who has the courage to step forward and say we've got to clean out the stables of the American governmental system right now. We've got to make it work."


Still, "voting for Donald Trump, you might get something very good or very bad," Webb continued. "Voting for Hillary Clinton, you're going to get the same thing. Do you want the same thing?"

It's not surprising that Webb would mull crossing over from the party he would have represented in the White House to pull the lever for Trump, who's taken the GOP by storm – against the will of party elites – this election cycle.

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A Vietnam War veteran, Webb was Navy secretary in the Reagan administration, and he ran and won his Senate seat in 2008 as a moderate Democrat when the re-election campaign of incumbent, Sen. George Allen, a Republican, imploded after he committed a racially-tinged gaffe.

While in the Senate, Webb was a champion for rural working-class white voters whom he believed had been abandoned by Democrats; his short-lived bid for the White House was predicated on winning them back.

In 2016, those voters are largely supporting Trump by wide margins, according to polls.

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Former Democratic Sen. Jim Webb says he may vote for Trump over Clinton
Voters gather for the Democratic presidential caucus at North High School in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Colorado voters are caucusing to decide between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Colorado is one of a dozen states holding 'Super Tuesday' presidential caucuses or primaries. / AFP / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, VA - MARCH 01: Poll workers verify voters' photo indentification cards before they are allowed to cast a ballot inside the Arlington County Fire Station 10 during Super Tuesday voting March 1, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. Officials are expecting a record turnout of voters in Virginia, one of a dozen states holding presidential primaries or caucuses. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
TAYLORSVILLE, GA - MARCH 01: A Georgia voter leaves Taylorsville Town Hall after voting on Super Tuesday March 1, 2016, in Taylorsville, Georgia. Voters head to the polls to cast their votes on Georgia's presidential primary. (Photo by Branden Camp/Getty Images)
Voters participate in the Democratic presidential caucus at North High School in Denver, Colorado on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. Colorado voters are caucusing to decide between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Colorado is one of a dozen states holding 'Super Tuesday' presidential caucuses or primaries. / AFP / Jason Connolly (Photo credit should read JASON CONNOLLY/AFP/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN- MARCH 1: Caucus goers cast their vote at a Democratic party caucus site at Jefferson Community School on Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. High turnout has caused long lines and wait times for voters all around Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN- MARCH 1: Caucus goers wait in line to cast their vote at a Democratic party caucus site at Jefferson Community School on Super Tuesday, March 1, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. High turnout has caused long lines and wait times for voters all around Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)
WHITE, GA - MARCH 01: 81-year-old Helen Free, left, a polling site assistant manager, takes a lunch break while two Georgia voters fill out voting paper work before casting their ballots on Super Tuesday March 1, 2016, in White, Georgia. Voters head to the polls to cast their votes on Georgia's presidential primary. (Photo by Branden Camp/Getty Images)
ADAIRSVILLE, GA - MARCH 01: 'I'm a Georgia Voter' stickers sit in a basket at a fire station on Super Tuesday March 1, 2016, in Adairsville, Georgia. Voters head to the polls to cast their votes on Georgia's presidential primary. (Photo by Branden Camp/Getty Images)
MIDDLEBURY, VT - MARCH 01: People vote at a polling station on March 1, 2016 in Middlebury, Vermont. Thousands of Americans across the country are participating in Super Tuesday, the biggest day of the 2016 primary season. Thirteen states and one territory are participating in Super Tuesday: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming and American Samoa. This years election, with strong candidates on both the left and the right, is shaping up to be one of the most exciting and divisive in recent history. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
SHOAL CREEK, AL - MARCH 1: Mike Maroney, of Shoal Creek, wears an 'I Voted' sticker during the Super Tuesday election at the Shoal Creek Community Center March 1, 2016 in Shoal Creek, Alabama. The rural center has about 70 voters and most had voted before lunch time. 13 states and American Samoa are holding presidential primary elections, with over 1400 delegates at stake. (Photo by Hal Yeager/Getty Images)
TAYLORSVILLE, GA - MARCH 01: Edna Martinez wears a 'I'm a Georgia Voter' sticker after casting her ballot at Taylorsville Town Hall on Super Tuesday March 1, 2016, in Taylorsville, Georgia. Voters head to the polls to cast their votes on Georgia's presidential primary. (Photo by Branden Camp/Getty Images)
FORT WORTH, TX - MARCH 1: Voters line up to cast their ballots on Super Tuesday March 1, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. 13 states and American Samoa are holding presidential primary elections, with over 1400 delegates at stake. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Signs are seen on a chair to assist voters at Centreville High School in Centreville, Virginia March 1, 2016, during the Super Tuesday primary voting. Voters in a dozen states will take part in 'Super Tuesday' -- a series of primaries and caucuses in states ranging from Alaska to Virginia, with Virginia the first to open its polling stations at 6:00 am (1100 GMT). / AFP / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
John Echeverria uses the new automatic voting machine at a polling station in Strafford, Vermont, U.S., on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. On Super Tuesday, more delegates will be awarded than on any other day of the presidential race. About half of the delegates needed for a Republican candidate to win the nomination are at stake, plus about a third for Democrats. Photographer: Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist/Bloomberg via Getty Images
ARLINGTON, VA - MARCH 01: Poll workers verify voters' photo indentification cards before they are allowed to cast a ballot inside the Arlington County Fire Station 10 during Super Tuesday voting March 1, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia. Officials are expecting a record turnout of voters in Virginia, one of a dozen states holding presidential primaries or caucuses. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
I Voted stickers rest on a voting machine at a polling station in Strafford, Vermont, U.S., on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. On Super Tuesday, more delegates will be awarded than on any other day of the presidential race. About half of the delegates needed for a Republican candidate to win the nomination are at stake, plus about a third for Democrats. Photographer: Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist/Bloomberg via Getty Images
MONTAGUE, MA - MARCH 01: Poll workers use a manual, crank operated, ballot box to collect ballots on March 01, 2016 in Montague, MA. Officials are expecting a record turnout of voters in Massachusetts, one of a dozen states holding Super Tuesday presidential primaries or caucuses. (Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
Voters stand in line to await voting at the McGee Community Center on March 1, 2016 in Conway, Arkansas. Americans began voting in the crucial Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses in what is deemed the most critical day in the presidential nominating process. The first state to open its polling stations was Virginia at 6:00 am (1100 GMT). / AFP / Michael B. Thomas (Photo credit should read MICHAEL B. THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Voter stickers are seen on a desk at the McGee Community Center on March 1, 2016 in Conway, Arkansas. Americans began voting in the crucial Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses in what is deemed the most critical day in the presidential nominating process. The first state to open its polling stations was Virginia at 6:00 am (1100 GMT). / AFP / Michael B. Thomas (Photo credit should read MICHAEL B. THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks into the Madison Activities Center polling location in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. On Super Tuesday, more delegates will be awarded than on any other day of the presidential race. About half of the delegates needed for a Republican candidate to win the nomination are at stake, plus about a third for Democrats. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A voter marks his ballot at the Madison Activities Center polling location in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. On Super Tuesday, more delegates will be awarded than on any other day of the presidential race. About half of the delegates needed for a Republican candidate to win the nomination are at stake, plus about a third for Democrats. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A 'Polling Place' sign stands outside the Madison Activities Center polling location in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., on Tuesday, March 1, 2016. On Super Tuesday, more delegates will be awarded than on any other day of the presidential race. About half of the delegates needed for a Republican candidate to win the nomination are at stake, plus about a third for Democrats. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A stack of 'I voted' stickers are seen March 1, 2016, at one of the Virginia primary election polling stations at Colin Powell Elementary School, in Centreville, Virginia. Voters in a dozen states will take part in 'Super Tuesday' -- a series of primaries and caucuses in states ranging from Alaska to Virginia, with Virginia the first to open its polling stations at 6:00 am (1100 GMT). / AFP / PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
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