Nunn not ruling out White House bid
Former Georgia senator criticizes partisanship
WASHINGTON — Former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn of Georgia said Friday he is frustrated with the direction of the presidential race and acknowledged talking with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others about an independent challenge to the major parties.
“We’ve had conversations about frustration with the fact that the process is flawed,” Nunn said of Bloomberg, who has sent mixed signals about a potential independent White House bid. “I’ve told him ... it may be time for some serious people to look at what I call a time-out and having people of good faith in the Democratic and Republican parties to come together and address the issues that the parties don’t seem to want to address.”
“We have not discussed any kind of joint strategy,” Nunn added in an interview with The Associated Press. “I have just had conversations with him.”
Nunn, a moderate who earned a reputation for bipartisanship during four terms in the Senate, was frequently mentioned as a potential pres- idential or vice presidential candidate before he retired in 1996.
He said he isn’t ruling out his own White House run. But he insisted that he’s not trying to open the door to a campaign.
“The only thing I would consider would be running for the big office,” he said, referring to the White House.
While he said he isn’t interested in a vice presidential bid, he didn’t rule that out either.
“Any discussion like that, I think, should come after the nominees are selected and I think it’s very unlikely that I would be contacted or interested,” he said.
Whether he’s involved with a campaign or not, Nunn said he plans to speak out more because he thinks the primary system pushes candidates toward “wing issues” instead of fundamental priorities like long-term fiscal stability and national security.
“There is an audience out there that wants a serious discussion,” he said.
Bloomberg fueled speculation that he might run for president in June when he left the Republican Party and registered as an independent. He has denied that he plans to run, but he also has been speaking out on national issues while criticizing partisan politics.
He could not be reached for comment immediately Friday afternoon.