Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe revealed Wednesday he will not be entering the 2020 White House race, saying Virginians want him back in the commonwealth to tackle various “problems” on a state level.
McAuliffe still insisted he could beat President Trump “like a rented mule” but despite his strong desire to run, he told CNN anchor Chris Cuomo that “we’ve got issues in Virginia.” He said his state has seen “a lot of problems” since February, an apparent reference to the controversies surrounding current Gov. Ralph Northam involving his use of blackface decades ago, and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax facing multiple accusations of sexual assault.
“Why are you in politics- to help people. Where can you have the biggest impact on people? And, the leadership in Virginia has been reaching out to me in the last two-and-a-half months. I spent 'til four o’clock in the morning on Saturday morning with the state party chair all night talking. I’ve invested a lot in that state and I love that state,” McAuliffe explained. “We’ve got to win the House and Senate because we can change it, we can take it to the next level. So I’ve listened to the Virginians and I’m gonna help Virginians for the next six months.”
When asked what he thought of the 2020 field of Democrats, he insisted that “most of them” could beat Trump, but suggested that former Vice President Joe Biden had the best chance.
The Democrat expressed that he didn’t want Virginians to feel that he had “abandoned” them and thought he could make a “real difference” much faster in his home state than if he joined an already crowded field of presidential candidates.
McAuliffe, however, did not rule out another run for the governorship in Virginia.
“I’m still a young man. You’ll see what happens,” McAuliffe continued, “but this is a real opportunity. I’ve started it. I need to finish it.”