Dick Durbin: I'm running for reelection in 2020

Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate Democrats push Trump to permanently shutter migrant detention facility House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions To combat domestic terrorism, Congress must equip law enforcement to fight rise in white supremacist attacks 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 SchumerJewish Democratic congresswoman and veteran blasts Trump's 'disloyalty' comments Schumer says Trump encouraging anti-Semites Saagar Enjeti: Biden's latest blunder; Krystal Ball: Did Schumer blow our chance to beat McConnell? MORE (D-N.Y.) was tapped to replace former Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidNo, it is not racist to question birthright citizenship McConnell rejects Democrats' 'radical movement' to abolish filibuster Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' 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 TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future 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.