Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) did not deny that he is planning to run for president in 2020 when a fellow MSNBC guest predicted that was in his future on Tuesday.
Appearing on MSNBC, McAuliffe touted his administration's accomplishments and expressed confidence he would be replaced by Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, who is running against Republican challenger Ed Gillespie to be the next governor.
Host Chris Jansing said McAuliffe said he seemed like he was running for president but guessed he would duck the question if asked; however, McAuliffe asked fellow guest Larry Sabato, a political analyst based out of the University of Virginia, to answer for him.
"Yeah, Larry, is he running for president?" Jansing asked.
"Yes," Sabato said. "That's a one-word answer. I think he's running for president, and he needs to get the Democratic ticket elected in three weeks here in Virginia. He knows that."
McAuliffe said people were "energized" in the state and that Gillespie would be bad for business in the state by signing socially divisive bills into law.
"I want to make sure that you have an opportunity to respond to what Larry said. Larry says you're running for president. Is he right?" Jansing asked.
McAuliffe didn't answer the question, saying he wanted to finish up his tenure "as strong as I can."
"Let me finish up this job. The taxpayers are paying me," he said. "I'm focused on Virginia today, and I need to make sure we win these elections for the sake of the future of the children of Virginia."
McAuliffe has in the past said he "might" want to be president.
McAuliffe has strong connections with the Democratic Party establishment. He was chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005 and has a longtime personal relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton.