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. justobserve

    First, it's too dangerous to have Hillary on the next in line after Obama. Second, with Bill, the ex-prez, together with Hillary for the second spot is too much! If she is in his cabinet, her role would be different so Bill's mettling would be limited.

    July 16, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  2. Peter (CA)

    The delusions coming from the right is scary.
    Don't worry about the job Obama will do. He is smart and will surround himself with good people.

    McCain is the one this country needs to be scared of. The last 8 years have been a disaster and he wants to continue many of those policies.

    Know the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

    July 16, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  3. PUMA tuPAC

    No Billiary...then NOBAMA.... as a woman i can care less about my right and needs... i can care less that Insurance wont pay for my birth control pill but ill pay for viagra....

    I am bitter and Angry about how OBAMA attacked HILLARY.... How dare he engage in a political campaign against our Hilliary...she was entitled ... I am voting for JOHN MCCAIN...and i will be proud when my son and grandsons die in the deserts of IRAN or the Rice patties of North Korea...

    PUMA tuPAC

    July 16, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  4. aaa


    July 16, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  5. Olivia

    Hillary for vp!

    She has earned the offer.....to be turned down.....so she can run again in 2012.
    Go Hillary1

    The silent majority.

    July 16, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  6. Nia - Phoenix, AZ

    anything but Hillary...anything but Hillary..anything but Hillary!!

    July 16, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  7. Not another idiot, please...

    Sean July 16th, 2008 6:59 pm ET

    These are just 2 more unknown quantities added to another unknown comodity. Makes me feel safe, how about you?

    Obviously you know nothing – these two men are highly respected across the country – even pointed out by a few comments here. Do some research before saying something dumb...

    July 16, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  8. Obama4Ever

    Obama/Bayh 2008

    Enough said. Said NO to Hilary and her loser supporters.

    PS All you HRC supporters can donate to retire her debt since you think she was so qualified. And please do stay at home on Election Day or vote for McCain.

    Just don't complain when the economy tanks...

    July 16, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    Sen. Obama will choose whomever he pleases as VP. And to all you, Hillary Supporters how about helping the lady with her huge campaign debt? Hmmm.

    After McCain's gaffe about birth control pills vs. viagra, you'd think that women would be up in arms! Do we want another gaffe in the white house?

    People need to listen up, do your research, set your egos aside and choose wisely the man who will lead our nation.

    McCain is Bush by another name, if you don't believe it, check out his stance on all the important issues. He even has the SAME FOREIGN POLICY: BOMB...........BOMB.........BOMB IRAN! GOD HELP US!

    July 16, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. Charlene.

    yes we can

    July 16, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. NO to HILLARY,CA

    Obama/Biden We love you Obama. Obama for Prez 08-16

    July 16, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  12. Jim

    At least he's being consistant.....a VP choice with as little ability as himself.

    July 16, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  13. McBush lovers - Educate yourselves

    Do you people have a mind of your own??!? I agree with a previous post saying that you are just repeating Rush one-liners. I was thinking the same thing even before I read that post. You are spitting verbatim what some of these GOP-biased talk shows are saying. EDUCATE Yourself!!! Dont be a "C" average voter because we surely dont need another "C" average president!!! To say Barack is flip flopping and he doesnt stand for anything and blah blah blah blah. GEEZ!!! If you think that then you truly do not know. Go to his website and you can read where he stand on all issues. Or search the net to see how he's voted on issues in the past. If you still dont like what you see, so be it. You have that right and thats whats great about America. But dont sit there and say he stands for nothing. That just makes you look like an idiot. Sure he's had a short term as senator, but I am picking the BEST MAN (could have been woman) for the job. It is not McShame. He should have stepped up 8 years ago when he had a chance.

    July 16, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. A Woman In California For Obama

    Anyone but hillary or any clinton. BTW, I purposely spelled the names in lower case letters.

    July 16, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. nannie bouroughs, Kenosha, WI

    It really doesn't matter who Senator Obama picks for a VP... he is nothing but a slick, typical flip-flopping candidate who will NOT get ELECTED!

    July 16, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. Tamara

    I hope Obama will finally step up and choose Hillary. No one else will matter. If he chooses any else but Clinton it will not be his best moment. Question, Why not Hillary? I hope he does not respond with "Bill will be a problem for me" He should wish that he was as capable as William Jefferson Clinton was as President. What is he so afraid of.

    Obama needs to stand on his own and I have yet to see that quality in him. Even after all this time I can not seem to want to vote for Obama and I have been a Democrat all of my life. The way the DNC acted still disgust me.

    Obama was not choosen by the people in this primary he was given the delegates from a state that he was not even on the ballet and also 4 delegates that were taken from Hillary. That was BS and not to be forgotten.

    Hillary is the only choice for VP for Obama!

    July 16, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  17. rexx

    Well Obama must be pretty desperate to make himself look better on National Security if he is Digging up Sen Nunn for consideration. Republicans will just dig up all those stupid comments Nunn made before the first Gulf war.

    July 16, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  18. rexx

    And just to be fair. Sen Nunn would not be a good choice as I stated in another post but Sen Byah would be a good choice.

    July 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  19. Joaquin

    Obama is so smart. He can convene these forums of top people in various fields to have a public discussion on issues such as nuclear and cyber security. Yet- did CNN cover the substance of the exchange? No- all we get from the mainstream press is babble about VP choice. A couple weeks ago there was an Obama convened forum on the economy. The only place I know of that covered it was POTUS on the radio.
    Couldn't you please highlight the high level of discourse on which Obama is able to give voice to these experts as well as engage with them? Are you afraid your viewers will be turned off by smart people? The only way out of the pervasive and long-standing anti-intellectualism in American public discourse is to let people see how exciting it is to talk about thought-provoking topics in an engaged and knowledgeable manner. After George Bush I would guess the country is hungry for intelligent talk from their leaders.

    July 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  20. TEXAS for OBAMA!!!

    TO: Bayousara for Hillary in November

    Who cares if you don't vote for Obama in November. We (obama supporters) are the ones who voted him in as the nominee and we (along with some of the mature intelligent Hillary supporters) will be the ones to vote him in in Novenber!!!! Just like it didn't matter that you voted for Hillary during the democratic election, it won't matter if you vote for her in the Presidential election.

    So, bottom line...............he don't need YOUR VOTE!!!!!!

    If anyone was disrespectful in this election it was the Clinton's and you know it............their negative campaign just backfired on them and now you must blame someone else so of course it has to be Obama.

    With or without you, brace yourself for the next President of the United States.......BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!!

    Obama '08

    July 16, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  21. pissedoff in boston

    senator obama,




    it has a different name: SELLING OUT.



    July 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  22. David Smock

    I'm an Independent, but the Democrats are getting ridiculous with their "If Obama doesn't choose Hillary, I will vote McCain" attitude. Face it: Hillary is BAD FOR THE PARTY AND COUNTRY. Hillary lost because the majority of U.S. citizens don't like her, as a person and as a politician.

    July 16, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  23. pissedoff in boston


    let us see how smart you are indeed.


    July 16, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  24. PCS / North Carolina

    mike s. July 16th, 2008 4:47 pm ET

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

    Yeah, empty suit trounces empty head (mcSame) anytime. You do not care, that is why our country is in a mess. You probsably voted for the other guy in 00 and 04.

    July 16, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. Brenda M

    When are you Obama supporters going to state ANYTHING of substance? You spew hate, rhetoric, and the same tired and mean one-liners.


    July 16, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
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