Democrats need to make greater strides to embrace centrists and independents, retiring Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) urged Tuesday.

Bayh, who on Monday announced his retirement, lamenting the partisan division in the Senate, urged colleagues to be more open to compromise.

"My advice to my fellow Democrats is the only way we can actually govern in this country is make common cause with the independents and moderates," the Indiana centrist said during an appearance on MSNBC. "Sometimes half a loaf is better than none."


The senator's surprise retirement announcement has drawn the ire from some liberal bloggers, who've argued that Bayh has been unwilling to strike out tough stances on some issues. Bayh said he respects those bloggers' First Amendment rights, and denied he has "hate" for them, as some media reports have suggested.

Bayh also sought to tamp down speculation that he would challenge President Barack Obama for president in 2012 as a Democratic or independent candidate, saying the chances of that are "none whatsoever."

He also said he expected to remain a Democrat.

"I believe in working within my party to achieve the progress we need," he said. "I don't believe in creating a third-party movement or anything like that."