Rep. David Cicilline (D., R.I.) said Tuesday that as many as 40 Democrats will run for their party's 2020 presidential nomination.
MSNBC Hallie Jackson pressed him after former Vice President Joe Biden declared himself the "most qualified person in the country to be president" and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) reiterated to reporters on Tuesday she was in the middle of taking a "hard look" at running.
Recent Stories in Politics
"We'll have 30 or 40, probably, great candidates running for president, because everyone recognizes how urgent this moment is in the history of our country," Cicilline said. "We need a great nominee, and I have every confidence we're going to have a terrific nominee and we're going to beat the Republican nominee in 2020."
"Forty, really? 40 candidates?" Jackson asked.
"There's a lot of U.S. senators who we're talking about, a lot of governors, a lot of people outside of politics," he said. "I think we're going to have a big field of great candidates that are going to have an opportunity to test their mettle during the primaries."
He listed off names like Warren, Biden, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio), and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who have all expressed interest in running.
There are nearly 30 Democrats consisting of current office-holders, former Obama administration members, and even non-politicians who have said they are running or are considering running for president.
Cicilline made a point of saying "the Republican nominee in 2020" instead of President Donald Trump, who has already said he will seek a second term in office. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R.), a sharp critic of Trump who battled him unsuccessfully in the 2016 Republican primary, is thinking of running for president in 2020 as well.