McAuliffe: Biden will have to prove himself in debates

McAuliffe: Biden will have to prove himself in debates

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) said that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUkrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' Warren overtakes Biden in Iowa for first time: poll MORE (D) must prove that he can hold his own in a debate setting against fellow Democrats if he hopes to face President TrumpDonald John TrumpAlaska Republican Party cancels 2020 primary Ukrainian official denies Trump pressured president Trump goes after New York Times, Washington Post: 'They have gone totally CRAZY!!!!' MORE in a general election.

In an interview with AM 970 "The Answer," McAuliffe told John Catsimatidis that voters will seek out the candidate with the best chance of beating Trump and the best ability to hold their own in a debate setting.

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"I think what [Democratic] voters are going to look at is who is the one person who can beat Trump. There is nothing that is going to motivate and mobilize our voters more then supporting a candidate who they think can beat Trump," the ex-Virginia governor said.

"Right now, that’s Joe Biden. Joe Biden has to do well in the debates. Everybody’s going to go after him … and he’s got to show that he can handle the pressure," McAuliffe continued. "Because, going up against Trump, you’ve got to have your full body armor on or you are out.”

McAuliffe is a longtime ally of Biden and in April spoke favorably about Biden's then-expected campaign while coming shy of an actual endorsement during an MSNBC interview.

He said earlier this year that he would not run for president himself after previously hinting at a bid for the presidency, telling MSNBC that he would focus on efforts to boost Democratic candidates in Virginia, a swing state.

"We have the opportunity to pick up both the House and Senate. I invested a lot in that state and I love that state. We’ve got to win the House and the Senate in that state,” McAuliffe said in April.