July 17th, 2008
07:10 AM ET
10 years ago

Bayh, Nunn dodge VP questions, but buzz rises


Watch Nunn and Bayh discuss the veepstakes.

(CNN) - Evan Bayh and Sam Nunn wanted to focus on Barack Obama's national security credentials Wednesday. The traveling press corps trailing the presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign didn’t.

In a press conference following a campaign-sponsored roundtable discussion on emerging terrorist threats, Bayh and Nunn were bombarded by questions over reports both Democrats are on Obama's shortlist for vice president.

But Bayh, a senator from Indiana, and Nunn, a former senator from Georgia, revealed little about the Obama campaign's vetting process and their own ambitions for the job.

Veepstakes: Check out CNN's Political Market to see who's ahead

"I have never aspired to that office," said Nunn, who served in the Senate for 25 years. "It is always nice to have your name mentioned - it is an honor - but I have no expectation of being offered any office, and I am not in any way sitting on the edge of a chair ready to go back into government."

Nunn, one of the most respected Democratic voices on national security policy, seems to encounter vice presidential speculation every election cycle, given his appeal in the South and strength on issues where Republicans usually have the edge.

iReport.com: Share your picks for VP

Bayh, a former supporter of Hillary Clinton who also has red-state appeal, also brushed aside speculation he is being considered a spot on the ticket.

"I love serving the people of Indiana - and I think any questions about the vice presidential thing are understandable and it’s good for my ego, but I should probably let Senator Obama and his campaign address those kind of questions," he said.

One reporter asked the senator — whose father Birch Bayh ran for president in 1976 - if he was taking his name out of the VP running.

"I've got a plane to catch," he responded, chuckling.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Evan Bayh • Popular Posts • Sam Nunn
soundoff (306 Responses)
  1. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Obama is a smart man and will make a good choice. I have every confidence that whomever he picks will be great!

    July 16, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. I'm Bushed

    Good answers.

    July 16, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Wisconsin


    Ya they dodged it, we are all tired of CNN asking it!

    July 16, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Vets for Obama

    I'll support Obama. If I had my preference i'd say Ron Paul as vp. I'd like hillary too so we can see the puma people squirm. But these guys seem ok.

    July 16, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Obama Supporter from FL

    Reporters suck. Obama sends out surrogates to talk about national security, and all the reporters want to know is whether or not these guys think they might be picked for VP.

    It's just like lame gossip about who will be prom queen this year.

    July 16, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  6. AK in LA

    More importantly....what does Caroline think? (-:

    July 16, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. Brandon Hillary PUMA 4Mc

    Yeah Obama put Nunn on the ticket snub the gays and watch them flock to Mc Kinney....LOL

    This guy can just dig his grave if he doesnt pick Hillary.

    July 16, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. bill for barack

    I don't bayh nunn of it.

    July 16, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. Freida, NYC

    Hummm.... I notice a pattern, almost everyone seems to be reluctant about becoming Obama's VP. I wonder why!?

    July 16, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Heide

    I wish CNN would have covered more of this event at Purdue University today. An excellent panel and very important issues and Senators Nunn, Bayh and Obama are tops in my book!

    July 16, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Helen, NY

    Both the senators are jokers. Nobody cares. Why do they have to appear in front of the camera and CNN has time to give them publicity. It is not a good piece fo journalism.

    July 16, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. Hello!!!

    No Hillary, NO VOTE. Dems you could have had an absolute dream ticket with Hillary/Obama......but you cut off your nose to spite your face......

    July 16, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. Griff

    They have no Answers..... The Democrats are in a Hole.... Digging deeper all the time.... Looking for the Black Gold.... Borack Obama is being used, and the Idiot is so wrapped up in his own 'Self Importance'.... How would it be? To have a CIC, that is just a, 'Head on a Platter'.... They take him out of the Freezer every day... Borack Obama.... Is in that Ice Box....

    July 16, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Ty

    Obama/Kerry 08

    July 16, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Dave in Albuquerque

    Of course Bayh would answer that way. People forget he had built an organization to run for president in 05-06.

    I bet he made a pact with Hillary back in 2006 that he wouldn't run in return for her to choose him as her VP.

    He wants to be president worse than anyone, but is probably kicking himself for not running himself this time.

    July 16, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Jon

    So these two guys wanted to talk about emerging terrorist threats, and all the press could talk about was VP speculation. Did the press also ask them what their favorite colors are?

    July 16, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. NObama

    The fact that they may be considering joining an Obama ticket means their judgement is questionable.

    July 16, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. ANGEL

    Obama-Clinton 08! Dems UNITE!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. Vig

    Mr. Obama's supporters should be called "The Dodgers". It was reported that Mr. Obama did not take any questions from the La Raza group in which he gave one of his "lectures". Rather, he was shielded away. Could this be because Mr. Obama does not do very well on his feet if he doesn't have a schedule or cheat notes in front of him? Hillary Clinton was quick on her feet because she has a solid grasp on issues and policy. Hillary doesn't need to pander to Latinos. Hillary Clinton is the one, Obama isn't.

    July 16, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. Gorbashov

    Either would be a good choice for the country!

    Dems unite!

    Obama/Nunn in 2008 and beyond!

    July 16, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. DflateMacsStr8TalkXpress: Econ MIA, AWOL on facts, POW from reality

    Stop it! No wonder the media has such a piss-poor reputation! Leave both the candidates and potential VP picks alone! And that includes, you, Poof Ditzler (Wolf Blitzer).

    July 16, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. Matt

    Evan Bayh would be perfect for Vice President, he has everything Barack doesn't, which is little, i know, but he's got it. National Security credentials-got it, He's a moderate, He's widely loved in my great state of Indiana, and he may even help turn it, and other states,blue come November.

    July 16, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. HG

    Both would make excellent choices. CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRATS.

    July 16, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. mike s.

    Who cares. Obama's candidacy is a joke. Empty suit.

    July 16, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  25. Billy Johnson

    Seems kind of strange that Bush and Co. have now starting doing everything Obama has been suggesting.
    Talking to Iran, Shifting focus from Iraq to Afghanistan. Who's leading who?

    July 16, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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