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Former Sen. Jim Webb rules out independent presidential bid

URBANDALE, IA - JUNE 14: Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb listens to speakers 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)

Scott Olson, Getty Images

Former Sen. Jim Webb on Thursday announced that he would not embark on a third-party presidential bid.

At the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Webb said that he has worked with members of both political parties both as an official in President Ronald Reagan's administration and as a Democrat in the Senate, but has realized that both parties aren't addressing Americans' concerns.

"We looked at the possibility of an independent candidacy," he said. "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."

His decision comes nearly four months after he withdrew his candidacy from the Democratic presidential race. On Oct. 20, he formally suspended his campaign and said he would spend the next several weeks considering whether he should launch an independent bid.

"Americans are disgusted by this talk of Republicans and Democrats," he said at the time from the National Press Club. "The other party is not the enemy, they're the opposition."

On Thursday, Webb talked about the the lack of foreign policy debate in the current presidential race.

"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."

The Democratic field has winnowed down quite a bit since Webb dropped out of the race. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, for instance, suspended his campaign after last Monday's Iowa caucuses.

Webb's decision comes as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg weighs a presidential bid. For the first time publicly, Bloomberg told the Financial Times earlier this week that he was "looking at all the options" and that the public deserves "a lot better."

CBS News' Donald Judd contributed to this story.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.