Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) said on Sunday that he is not "ready to be a candidate for 2020 yet."
Patrick said on CNN's "State of the Union" that he has received encouragement to launch a White House bid "from all over the country and some from around the world," but added that he is focusing on helping Democrats during the midterm elections for now.
"I’m trying to keep my focus ... on these small number of races where I’ve been invited to help and where I think I can be helpful," he told host Jake Tapper.
After leaving the governorship in 2015, Patrick joined global investment firm Bain Capital. Former President Obama and his former advisers, David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, have all reportedly encouraged him to run in 2020.
Tapper also pressed Patrick on the increasing calls from Democrats to abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Patrick declined to support the agency's abolishment, but called its policies and practices "sadistic."
"We clearly need some alternative to the policies in ICE," Patrick said. "Whether you call it ICE or call it something else."
"The sadistic policies and practices of ICE today have got to go," he continued. "Separating families, the walking away from [the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program], the deportation of spouses of immigrations who serve in the military today — we are better than that."
Patrick also said that there is bipartisan support for comprehensive immigration reform, adding that "we need to be serious about it."
"The only reason that it doesn’t happen today is because, I believe, our president wants to keep it as an open wound so he can rally the extreme of his base."
“We clearly need some alternative to the policies in ICE, whether you call it ICE or call it something else,” says former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, adding, “the sadistic policies and practices of ICE today have got to go” #CNNSOTU https://t.co/BlP41LmEOA pic.twitter.com/biV3v3ij9a— CNN (@CNN) August 5, 2018
Patrick added "we need somebody to do the job of ICE," but said he would support distributing its responsibilities to other agencies.