Dick Durbin: I'm running for reelection in 2020

Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinTrump's trial a major test for McConnell, Schumer Overnight Defense: Foreign policy takes center stage at Democratic debate | House delivers impeachment articles to Senate | Dems vow to force new vote on Trump's border wall Senators under strict orders to pay attention during weeks-long impeachment trial MORE (D-Ill.) on Thursday confirmed that he will seek a fifth term in the Senate.

Asked on CNN’s “New Day” whether he would run for reelection in 2020, Durbin replied that he would, adding that his response shouldn’t be taken “as a formal announcement.”

“What I’ve said is, I’m raising money and I’m trying to lose a few pounds, and that’s a good indicator that I’m looking forward to 2020,” Durbin told CNN’s John Berman.

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Durbin, 74, would almost certainly coast to an easy reelection in Democratic-leaning Illinois. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, currently puts Durbin’s reelection prospects in the “Solid Democrat” column.

He has won reelection by double digits since entering the Senate in 1997, and his post as the second highest-ranking Democrat in the chamber gives him a difficult-to-match political and fundraising platform.

His most recent federal filing from October showed his campaign committee with nearly $1.7 million in cash on hand.

Still, speculation of a possible retirement for Durbin has swirled since 2016, when Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer votes against USMCA, citing climate implications Senators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it GOP senator: 2020 candidates must recuse themselves from impeachment trial MORE (D-N.Y.) was tapped to replace former Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidThe Trumpification of the federal courts Trump to rally evangelicals after critical Christianity Today editorial Left presses 2020 Democrats to retake the courts from Trump MORE (D-Nev.) as the chamber’s Democratic leader.

But Durbin has signaled for months that he is likely to seek another term. During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last month, the No. 2 Senate Democrat said that signs pointed to another reelection bid.

“I can tell people that I’m raising money and trying to lose some weight, that’s usually the first indication that you’re up for reelection,” Durbin said.

Durbin also ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE over the ongoing partial government shutdown on Thursday, accusing the president of choosing funding for his long-promised border wall over responsible stewardship of the federal government.

“The president has made the decision that despite his responsibility to manage and lead this government, he would rather shut it down and hold it hostage for his beloved wall — that wall the Mexicans were supposed to pay for,” he said on CNN.

Durbin insisted that Democrats would not capitulate to the president’s demand for more than $5 billion in funding for border wall construction, arguing that lawmakers had already agreed on a package that would provide $1.3 billion for border security.

“We are not going to compromise on the basics. And the basics are we are offering $1.3 billion for border security – an amount which was debated back and forth among Democrats and Republicans in a Republican Congress and came forward,” he said.