Warner: I'm out because family moments "are never going to come again"

The former Virginia governor says that "a number" of potential Democratic candidates understand what needs to be done.

Published October 12, 2006 3:06PM (EDT)

In a statement just posted on his PAC's Web site, former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner says his desire to spend time with his family trumps his drive for the White House in 2008.

"I have decided not to run for president," Warner says. "This past weekend, my family and I went to Connecticut to celebrate my dad's 81st birthday, and then we took my oldest daughter, Madison, to start looking at colleges. I know these moments are never going to come again. This weekend made clear what I'd been thinking about for many weeks -- that while politically this appears to be the right time for me to take the plunge -- at this point, I want to have a real life. And while the chance may never come again, I shouldn't move forward unless I'm willing to put everything else in my life on the back burner."

Warner insists that his decision has nothing to do with thoughts of whether he'd win or lose the Democratic nomination. "I can say with complete conviction that --15 months out from the first nomination contests -- I feel we would have had as good a shot to be successful as any potential candidate in the field," Warner says.

Warner isn't throwing his support behind any particular would-be Democratic candidate for 2008, but he's suggesting that he might prefer some over others.

"In my speeches, I always acknowledge that what disappoints me most about this administration in Washington is that with all the challenges we face ... and the tragedies we have experienced, from 9/11 to Katrina ... that the president has never rallied the American people to come together, to step up, to ask Americans to be part of the solution," Warner says. "I think a number of our party's potential candidates understand that. "

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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