McAuliffe: Voters want ‘realistic alternative’ to Trump's policies

The Democratic presidential nominee in 2020 must counter President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE's policies by offering "a more realistic alternative," said former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who is considering a presidential run.

Trump’s “fantastical promises of 2016 will not come to pass," McAuliffe wrote Thursday in a Washington Post opinion piece. "We have amassed a massive budget deficit thanks in large part to tax cuts for the rich. There is no infrastructure package. Medicare and Social Security are at risk because of reckless Republican budgets. Mexico is never paying for the wall. And Trump’s impulsive trade fights have hurt American farmers and consumers and thrown global financial markets into turmoil.”

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“Voters are now looking for a more realistic alternative," he added. "Leading up to 2020, Democrats must maintain our credibility with a pledge of results that are honest and achievable.” 

“I believe the only way that Trump will win reelection is if Democrats give up their credibility as serious and focused on results that impact people’s lives," McAuliffe wrote. "Ideological populism or relentless negativity are playing on Trump’s turf. The reality-show star will always win that race to the bottom.”

The former Virginia governor, who's considered a centrist in the party, went on to slam progressive priorities such as a federal jobs guarantee and universal free college, calling them “too good to be true.”

He pointed to midterm candidates who ran on making health care more affordable and raising the minimum wage, and won in red areas, as a blueprint for how to defeat Trump next year.

McAuliffe is one of more than 30 Democrats considering a run for president. The crowded primary field could end up including high-profile candidates such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE, Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE (I-Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations MORE (D-Mass.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOvernight Energy: Top presidential candidates to skip second climate forum | Group sues for info on 'attempts to politicize' NOAA | Trump allows use of oil reserve after Saudi attacks Poll: 33 percent of voters undecided on who won third Democratic debate Jon Bon Jovi: Booker would 'do an amazing job' as president MORE (D-N.J.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisCalifornia poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth Kamala Harris calls for new investigation into Kavanaugh allegations Poll: Biden holds five-point lead over Warren among New York Democrats MORE (D-Calif.) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas).

“While I haven’t decided whether to be a candidate myself, I will be closely watching our side and working to ensure that the Democratic message is realistic, optimistic and focused on helping all Americans. The stakes are simply too high to lose a race to the bottom,” McAuliffe wrote.