Gov. Terry McAuliffe on 2020: 'Go big or go home'

McAuliffe wouldn't rule out a presidential run in 2020.

March 29, 2017, 6:58 PM
PHOTO: Gov. Terry McAuliffe delivers remarks on the second day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe delivers remarks on the second day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 26, 2016 in Philadelphia.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

— -- Asked about the possibility of a presidential bid in 2020, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he isn’t ruling it out.

“I'd like to be Tom Brady's backup quarterback, I'd like to be the Pope too in the future. You know my personality, go big or go home,” McAuliffe told ABC’s Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein on the Powerhouse Politics podcast. “I’m not thinking about it, but I never take anything off the table.”

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton has resurfaced from a period of post-election privacy, giving speeches at events in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. this week.

But does that mean Clinton’s considering throwing her hat in the ring again in 2020? McAuliffe, who was Clinton’s campaign chair when she ran in 2008, says “Hillary’s done with elected politics.”

"She has never been quiet about the issues, nor should she be,” he said, adding that people shouldn’t “read too much into it.”

He said she is an “important voice,” but that she will join the chorus of other progressives calling for change: “There is a choir going on out there and we need all those voices.”

McAuliffe also spoke out about the prospect for bipartisan cooperation on changes to the Affordable Care Act.

Last week, the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare imploded in a last-minute failure to secure conservative votes. To those who wonder if Democrats might be willing to work with Trump on the second iteration, McAuliffe says, “it’s just not going to happen.”

“Let’s be clear, there is zero chance that one Democrat will work with this administration if it’s going to do anything to undermine or eliminate Obamacare,” McAuliffe said.

While there are areas where McAuliffe sees Democrats being willing to join hands with the new president -- particularly on infrastructure -- he says Trump has been uninterested in collaborating with Democratic governors on his policy initiatives, and that Virginia has suffered under the federal hiring freeze and the travel ban already.

“The president talks a great game on all these big issues, but then he takes the exact opposite approach,” McAuliffe said. “This man has been a one-man wrecking crew ... I’m facing very steep headwinds out of Washington. Get your act together and start doing things to help people.”

Now that the GOP health care bill is off the table, McAuliffe said he hopes to pass Medicaid expansion in his state and that “there are no more excuses” for the Republican-led state legislature.

While he’s not happy with the current administration, McAuliffe sees a light at the end of the tunnel in 2018 and possibly in 2020.

On whether Democrats can take back the House, he said “yes they can.” He pointed to the activism that has been happening at the grassroots level around the country in the wake of Trump’s election as a potential driving force for votes swinging back in Democrats’ favor.

“I've never seen such energy of people coming out to say I'm going to run,” McAuliffe said. “And I'll tell you it was the activists more than anybody -- forget elected officials -- who turned the course on this health care debate. These town halls that are going on across the country. Spectacular.”

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events