Dems at gun filibuster may serve as Clinton VP tryout

Story highlights

  • Joining Wednesday's filibuster on gun control may have served as a showcase for potential Clinton VP choices
  • Here are some of the Democrats who may be in consideration and what they said on the Senate floor that night

(CNN)The debate over gun control is back on Capitol Hill, as well as on the 2016 presidential campaign trail, following a 15-hour filibuster by Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy to call for action in the wake of the massacre at an Orlando gay club.

For some of Hillary Clinton's potential running mate picks, joining their colleague on the Senate floor overnight Wednesday into early Thursday morning, advocating for an issue key to the Democratic base, might have served as a de facto VP try out.
    Here are some of the Democrats who may be in consideration and what they said on the Senate floor that night.

    Chris Murphy

    The junior senator from Connecticut would be an out-of-the-box pick for Clinton but may have helped his stock with his filibuster.
    "I'm prepared to stand on this floor and talk about the need for this body to come together on keeping terrorists away from getting guns through those two measures, for frankly as long as I can, because I know that we can come together on this issue," Murphy said.
    In concluding his filibuster, Murphy, who represented the district in which the 2012 Newtown, Connecticut, shooting occurred, told the story of Dylan Hockley, a first-grader killed in the massacre.
    Murphy later told CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day" that he launched the effort because he said the lack of debate in the Senate "was deeply offensive to many of us."
    On Thursday night, he sent out a fundraising pitch to Clinton's supporters, writing he would "stand with Hillary Clinton and continue this fight until Congress has done everything it can to make our communities safer from gun violence."

    Cory Booker

    The New Jersey Democrat joined Murphy on the Senate floor, saying, "We can not go on with business as usual."
    "Enough. Enough. Enough," Booker said. "What we are seeking is not radical, what we are seeking is not partisan. What we are seeking is common sense that is supported by the vast majority of this nation."
    Introducing Clinton at a rally in New Jersey earlier this month, Booker drew VP questions after attacking Trump. When asked after the event about his potential to serve as vice president, he said, "I'm already her VP -- her vegan pal."
    Booker was asked Thursday by MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell about serving as Clinton's running mate, saying, "I am hearing much more from media folks like you asking me these questions. It's flattering and everything like that, but I'm not being vetted." When asked by Mitchell if he had been asked to submit any tax information to the campaign, he replied, "The only time I get asked about my personal data is my credit card number when I'm trying to buy lunch."

    Elizabeth Warren

    Speculation has long swirled around the Massachusetts senator being a potential pick for Clinton. During the filibuster, Warren discussed her love of attending Boston's Pride parade.
    "I love it as much as anything I've done as a U.S. senator. For me, this parade is the tangible demonstration of what happens when we turn away from darkness and division and turn toward our best selves."
    She also discussed how the two parties can come together over this issues.
    "When it comes to our response to the tragedy in Orlando, we are already beginning to see the splintering of America," she told the Senate. "One side shouts it was a gun that killed all those people. ... The other side shouts it wasn't a gun, it was a terrorist that killed all those people. And through all of the shouting, we missed what should be obvious: It was a terrorist with a gun that killed all those people, a terrorist with hate in his heart and a gun in his hand that killed all those people."

    Tim Kaine

    The Virginia senator and longtime Clinton ally has shown that he, too, can effectively attack Trump, criticizing him this week for his controversial statements on President Barack Obama and the U.S. military after the Orlando attack.
    Kaine recounted how he dealt with the Virginia Tech massacre in his home state and the importance of action in the Senate, saying, "I can't say I'd be a hero. But in this body, we don't have to be heroes. We just have to not be bystanders."
    He added, "We've been bystanders in this body, we've been bystanders in this nation, as this carnage of gun violence has gone from one tragedy to the next."
    Kaine emphasized the need for a vote, citing what he said was the dysfunction of the GOP-controlled Senate. "To cast a vote, that's not heroic, to stand up and say we can be safer tomorrow, we can protect people's lives, that's not heroic," Kaine said. "That's just saying, 'I will not be a bystander.' And that's all we have to do."

    Sherrod Brown

    The Ohio senator spoke twice during the filibuster and added to the emotional tone by sharing personal stories of hearing gunshots growing up in Cleveland and reading letters from constituents. He called on the Senate to act.
    "How do we go home and look people in the eye and say we failed again?" he said, adding, "How do I go back to Cleveland and say, 'Well, we tried it again. We didn't do it, it's not that big a deal if people can't fly on an airplane, they still ought to be able to get a gun.' How do we possibly look people in the eye and answer that question?"
    Brown has repeatedly said he is not interested in serving as vice president and told The Hill on Tuesday that in all his conversations with the Clinton campaign, "I've never talked about vice president." His progressive record and loyalty to Clinton makes him an attractive candidate, however, but the fact that Republican Gov. John Kasich would appoint his successor is a drawback to him joining the ticket.

    Al Franken

    The Minnesota senator and former "Saturday Night Live" writer would be a formidable match to Trump when it comes to wits, and hails from a state with a Democratic governor -- giving him buzz in some Democratic circles. Former Clinton and Obama aide Bill Daley told CNBC that picking Franken would "drive Trump crazy."
    Franken joined the filibuster Wednesday and spoke plainly about the problems he sees with the Senate.
    "If we are allowing over 90% of people on the terrorist watch list to purchase deadly weapons here at home, does that not suggest that we aren't coming close to doing everything in our power to combat terrorism and address gun violence?" Franken asked.
    Afterward, he told News 12 in Minnesota that the filibuster had a "good result." He added, "This was a filibuster that actually accomplished something. It wasn't about blocking something. It was about making sure that we do something that we, I think disgracefully, haven't been able to do."
    Franken told MSNBC last week that he didn't know of "any Democratic member of the Senate," including himself, who would turn down being Clinton's VP, adding, "but I think there would be a number of us who would be surprised if we were chosen."