Obama’s VP search committee loses a member amid criticism

Jim Johnson, a manager of Democrat Barack Obama’s vice presidential search team, is resigning amid criticism over his personal loan deals. Obama’s campaign declined to say if Johnson would be replaced.

Video report from ABC News:

Report from Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON – A former CEO leading Barack Obama’s search for a vice presidential candidate resigned abruptly Wednesday after questions about his home mortgage deals became a distraction for a candidate who argues he’s not influenced by special interests.

Jim Johnson’s resignation came a day after Obama defended Johnson and dismissed the Republican criticism of him.

“I am not vetting my V.P. search committee for their mortgages,” Obama said Tuesday.

He accepted Johnson’s resignation on Wednesday, leaving the search at least temporarily in the hands of two other prominent Democratic attorneys who also had been scouting candidates — former Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and Caroline Kennedy.

“Jim did not want to distract in any way from the very important task of gathering information about my vice presidential nominee, so he has made a decision to step aside that I accept,” Obama said. “We have a very good selection process under way, and I am confident that it will produce a number of highly qualified candidates for me to choose from in the weeks ahead.”

Johnson, the former chairman of mortgage lender Fannie Mae, came under fire from GOP candidate John McCain and the Republican Party after The Wall Street Journal reported last Saturday that Johnson got mortgages with help from the CEO of Countrywide Financial Corp.

McCain had accused Obama of hypocrisy for speaking out against Countrywide’s role in the subprime mortgage crisis.

A political expedient move that any politician would have made.