Terry McAuliffe: 'Who Better to Take on Trump Than Me?'

Former Virginia governor tells Free Beacon he's best option in 2020

Terry McAuliffe
Terry McAuliffe / Getty Images
February 26, 2018

Democrat Terry McAuliffe said he would be the party's best choice to "take on" President Donald Trump in 2020.

"Who better to take on Trump than me?" McAuliffe said when asked by the Washington Free Beacon about a potential 2020 run for president, strongly indicating he will indeed throw his hat in the ring.

The former Virginia governor, Democratic National Committee chairman, and longtime party fundraiser's name is regularly included amongst the crowded field of Democrats thinking of running for president.

McAuliffe has been said to be "seriously considering" a presidential run but recently dodged a question from CNN's Jake Tapper on who would give Democrats the best chance to take back the White House, though he did indicate a belief that former governors with executive experience such as McAuliffe are better suited for a run.

McAuliffe said he knows he can stand up to Trump because he's known him for a long time, a relationship that led to Trump cutting a $25,000 check for McAuliffe's unsuccessful 2009 run for governor of Virginia.

McAuliffe said he's "golfed with Trump five times." He said Trump is a "scratch golfer" and said he never saw him cheat when they played together, casting doubt on accusations of cheating made by others.

Last month McAuliffe told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that Trump has the ability to make his opponents "look weak," but that if Trump tried to do that to McAuliffe, "you would have to pick him up off the floor." When asked by Matthews if he was saying he would "deck him," McAuliffe said, "Listen, if this guy got in my space, you wanna get in my space, I’ve always said Chris, you punch me, I’m going to punch back twice as hard. And it wouldn’t be hard to do it, but you know, this guy thinks he could intimidate everybody. It’s disgraceful. It’s embarrassing."

McAuliffe has said that right now the "focus ought to be on 2018, and if people are interested in running for president, you got to look at January, February, or March of 2019."

"Your focus, if you really care about the principles and values of our party, you better be working hard," he said. "That's why I'm traveling all over this country to help these governor's races, doing events for House candidates."

McAuliffe has previously been the campaign chairman for presidential runs by both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The former governor still talks to Bill Clinton everyday and has "talked in passing about a White House run," according to Politico.