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

Bayh, Nunn dodge VP questions, but buzz rises

CNN

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. NotFallingInLine.org

    Of course they're dodging VP questions!

    Joining the ticket of an unprincipled selectee of an undemocratic Democratic Party in the VP spot

    IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF THING TRUE LEADERS SAY NO TO,

    as so many of their colleagues already have.

    NFIL
    NOT FALLING IN LINE behind failed undemocratic Democratic Party leaders and their selectee.

    July 16, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. Hillary Supporter!

    To: NotPayingHilaryDebt:

    Are you really paying attention, because "Focusing on the issues" isn't something BHO seems to comprehend–he does, however, comprehend not sticking to his first position on issues. He methodically changes his position on just about every issue. He doesn't know how to "Focus".

    July 16, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Glad to be an Independent

    Sam Nunn would be an interesting VP choice. Obama would have instant help on foreign policy with Nunn on his side. Evan Bayh has some foreign policy credentials and executive experience since he is a former governor of Indiana. He was a Hillary Clinton supporter. I like either choice. I think they are the best choices left since Jim Webb said he was not interested.

    July 16, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  4. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    whomever it will take, besides hillary, to get obama into the white house!

    no more greedy, dangerous, soul-less neoCONs!!!!!!!!!!

    July 16, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  5. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    I'd like to put it this way for you...
    If you don't vote for Senator Obama, you're in essence voting for Senator McCain. Why? Because you don't detract from McCain's numbers by not voting in the Presidential election.
    If the issues are important to you, then you'll vote for Obama as he trumps McCain on most every issue. Obama never served in the military so McCain wins by default there.
    But, Obama didn't divorce his wife who happened to be going through a debilitating recovery from a terrible car accident either. So, for my relgiosuly fanatical friends, there you go.
    I want Afghanistan to get stabilized, and Obama has been talking about that for a year now. McCain "kind of" agreed to the need of more troops – YESTERDAY.
    I want out of Iraq and McCain was one of the earliest proponents of this unwarranted war. Obama was against if FROM THE BEGINNING.
    I want a more comprehensive plan and Obama seems to have one. McCain wants to offer individual plans. Try getting one, will you? Look out for all those pre-ex conditions.
    I want the tax cuts that Obama is talking about (since I'm under that $250,000 threshold). McCain wants to give tax breaks to those OVER $250k.

    PUMA folks, and other former Dems, state the specific positions you hold as a DEM that McCain speaks to better than Obama.
    I double dare you.

    July 16, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. 50, white, female, voting for Obama in Missouri

    Why don't you all just quit asking. I guarantee you that at some point, both will announce who their V.P. choice is.

    No one eagerly seeks that office, except maybe Hillary. Most will say they don't want it. Nearly all will say they'll serve, if asked. Those that say they won't just haven't been asked yet.

    On that note, Bayh or Biden are great choices, though I think the sheer shock value of choosing someone like Chuck Hagel would be a site to see!

    Casey

    July 16, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  7. Julie 22

    I think obama is beyond help. can we say idiot.

    July 16, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  8. Doris,Memphis,TN

    It will be Hillary Clinton.
    Not!

    Obama/Biden 2008-2016

    July 16, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. Texas Trail Dog

    WILLOW FROM IOWA – You better hope someone like HILLARY is there to keep OBAMA from destroying America as we know it. First place I don't think HILLARY will accept the invitation. I give her more credit than tying herself to this loser Besides if he wins she can come by back in four years and take the presidency by storm. GO HILLARY. DOWN WITH OBAMA AND HIS IGNORANT SUPPORTERS.

    July 16, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Lee, New York City

    It doesn't matter who he picks as his VP choice, NO ONE can save Obama from HIMSELF.

    He is an in-experienced Community Organizer and NO way he's packaged (nice speaches, great family man, nice suit and tie) is he READY TO BE PRESIDENT.

    He's a SOCIALIST who will increase your taxes, promote government give away programs, etc. He'd be a DISASTER for our Country.

    July 16, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Apologies for a couple of grotesque typos on my previous post.
    Bayh as former governor and with foreign relations credentials would likely bring Indiana into play (and very possibly into the blue column).
    Obama would certainly lose a senator as the Gov. of Indiana would appoint a Republican.

    Nunn could put Georgia into play, but a number of things have to take place in order for Georgia to seriously be on McCain's mind (and pocketbook). But, his foreign credentials are second to none. He would upset some Dems on social issues, the gay issue specifically. But, no one from the McCain side could outflank him. Problem is he's rather old.

    Whomever Obama selects will be a great choice. And that includes Senator Clinton, if that's what Obama concludes.

    July 16, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Jackson

    Bayh is a nice guy and he is popular in his state ... but his endorsement didn't help Hillary much in Indiana .... hopefully it won't help Obama much either ..... McCain '08

    July 16, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Obama should just pick a black candidate. It would give Mrs Obama the ultimate "unfamiliar cut" she had been campaigning about strongly. Fair and square. This is what America is all about too. I dare them.

    July 16, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. MZ

    News Media : Save your time and effort, and concentrate on only one:
    HILLARY

    July 16, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. Cynthia '08

    And just like the women and men at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 who declared their independence from the Old Order, I celebrated my birthday last year by doing something I had done a dozen times in my head, but had never done publicly: I declared my independence from every bomb dropped, every threat leveled, every civil liberties rollback, every child killed, every veteran maimed, every man tortured, and the national leadership that let this happen. At that pro-peace rally in front of the Pentagon, I noted that nowhere on the Democratic Party's Congressional Agenda for their first 100 days in the majority was any mention at all of a livable wage, the right of return for Katrina survivors, repealing the Patriot Acts, the Secret Evidence Act, the Military Commissions Act, or bringing our troops home now. Nowhere on the Congressional Democrats' agenda was an investigation into the Pentagon's "loss" of $2.3 trillion that Rumsfeld admitted to just before September 11th. And nowhere was there any plan to get that money back for jobs, health care, education, and for veterans. Not even repeal of the Bush tax cuts that have helped to usher in, according to some, levels of income inequality not experienced in this country since the Great Depression. And instead of Articles of Impeachment to hold the criminals accountable, impeachment was taken "off the table.

    "

    July 16, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. Cynthia4President

    I noted that nowhere on the Democratic Party's Congressional Agenda for their first 100 days in the majority was any mention at all of a livable wage, the right of return for Katrina survivors, repealing the Patriot Acts, the Secret Evidence Act, the Military Commissions Act, or bringing our troops home now. Nowhere on the Congressional Democrats' agenda was an investigation into the Pentagon's "loss" of $2.3 trillion that Rumsfeld admitted to just before September 11th. And nowhere was there any plan to get that money back for jobs, health care, education, and for veterans. Not even repeal of the Bush tax cuts that have helped to usher in, according to some, levels of income inequality not experienced in this country since the Great Depression. And instead of Articles of Impeachment to hold the criminals accountable, impeachment was taken "off the table.

    "

    July 16, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  17. Andrew

    Hey Bill for Barack that was pretty funny, i loved your post, it brought some fresh air here.

    July 16, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. Nom Deplume

    Geez, now Obama surrounds himself with Dems that he would never get near in his pre-presidential life. Conservative, hawkish dems with strong foreign policy and defense cred (when there used to be such a thing as a strong-on-defense dem) rather than the anti-american crowd he hung out with before becoming a senator.

    I guess the leopard really can change his spots.

    Of course, Clinton ran on strong defense cred, then gutted the DoD so badly that the Afgan war started without adequate supplies (they literally ran out of bombs, which was why "daisycutters" were used).

    So long to America as we have known it for all these centuries. The new United States of Europe is coming.

    July 16, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. RB

    Uh...NO! To both of dem!!

    July 16, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. John Ret. Air Force

    Ret. 4 Star General Wesley Clark for VP. Watch Mc Muddle head pitch a fit and go over the edge!

    July 16, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. FEDUP

    I hope Hillary says, "No Thanks" I think it is going to be hard for Obama to find anyone who won't outshine him on any topic. I will write Hillary on my ballot in November. If it is worthless, so be it. I cannot vote for any of the jerks who will be on the ballot at this point in time.

    July 16, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. sarah

    NOOOOO! evan please stay away from this train wreck, do not let him destroy your political future too. obama is poison.

    July 16, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. Fishers, Indiana

    If it ain't Hillary, I'am voiting McCain.

    If Hussein Obama thinks he has what it takes to be President then he is just plain stupid.

    We need Hillary or McCain's experience.

    July 16, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. All Right!

    Now these men are giving more dignified responses about the vp instead of jumping to the conclusion that they might be asked and then turning it down!

    There is still some dignity left! :)

    July 16, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  25. Doug, New Jersey

    I'm sorry but for some a 2 year repeat rotation of "change" and "McBush" really doesn't tell us much about the Messiah.

    However his wife's thesis and the words of Rev. Wright tell us what type of people he finds comfort with.

    Scary, I can't just hide my skin color under my shirt come 2009!!!

    July 16, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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