McAuliffe on 2020 run: Could you imagine debating Trump?

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) on Sunday deflected a question about a possible White House bid in 2020, but said he dreams about the chance to debate President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border MORE.

“I’m doing a big project on redistricting, that will be my focus on ’18, and we’ll see what happens after that. But could you imagine hypothetically if that ever happened? You’d have to sell tickets to that debate,” McAuliffe said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

McAuliffe, 60, is said to be “seriously” considering a 2020 presidential bid.


McAuliffe has been a frequent critic of the president, particularly in the aftermath of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., which turned violent. McAuliffe hit Trump for blaming “both sides” for the chaos.

Last week, McAuliffe said if Trump got into his personal space during a debate, “you would have to pick him up off the floor,” referring to Trump walking up behind his 2016 opponent, Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton on if Bill should’ve resigned over Lewinsky scandal: ‘Absolutely not’ Electoral battle for Hispanics intensifies in Florida Trump adds campaign stops for Senate candidates in Montana, Arizona, Nevada MORE, during a debate.

“I think everybody sits around and dreams about a debate with President Trump and how much fun that could actually be. Get the truth out there, let the facts speak for themselves,” McAuliffe, who was Clinton's campaign chairman in 2008, said Sunday.

McAuliffe said Trump’s reported comments calling Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole countries” endanger military members and diplomats around the world, adding that the comments are “disgraceful” and “disgusting.” 

“He embarrasses us,” the former Democratic National Committee chairman added. “You’re taught not to treat people that way, but to refer to all of these countries who we do trade with, we do a lot of business with, he’s an embarrassment,” McAuliffe said.