WASHINGTON: Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that she is under pressure from “many, many, many people” to pursue a 2020 White House bid, but she signalled that she isn’t planning to run — at least, not at the moment.
Clinton made the remark in a joint interview with her daughter, Chelsea, on BBC Radio 5 Live. The two are in Britain to promote their new book, “Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience.”
Advisers to Clinton have said at various times over the past year that she is unwilling to completely shut the door on a potential 2020 bid.
In the Tuesday radio interview, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee was asked by host Emma Barnett about her future plans. Clinton replied that she wants to see President Donald Trump “retired” and is “going to be helping our side try to put together the strongest possible campaign, which will be difficult.”
“Are you going to run again?” Barnett asked.
“No,” Clinton replied. “Not, no. I’m -”
“That is 100 per cent?” the host continued. “So in a few days, I’m not going to open my newspaper ...”
“Well, you know, I’d never say never to anything,” Clinton said.
After Barnett pointed out that there are “a few days left” within which to file for the nominating contests in the states with the earliest deadlines, Clinton acknowledged that “it’s way past time.” But she added that she thinks “all the time” about what kind of president she would have been.
“Look, whoever wins next time is going to have a big task trying to fix everything that’s been broken,” she said.
Later in the interview, Barnett again pressed Clinton on whether she is ruling out a 2020 bid.
“Well, look, I, as I say, never, never, never say never,” Clinton replied. “And, I will certainly tell you, I’m under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it. But as of this moment, sitting here in this studio talking to you, that is absolutely not in my plans.”
Clinton did not give details on which people have been urging her to run.
Her comments come as the Democratic primary field has been thrown into uncertainty, with latecomers such as former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick moving closer toward announcing bids.
In the interview, Chelsea Clinton was asked how she would feel if her mother announced a bid.
“Well, I’m always in her corner, Emma,” she replied. “So you know, whatever she decides to do on any given day, I’m here to support and love her.”
She did not respond directly when asked whether she would like to see her mother run, saying only that her own most important role at the moment is as a mother to her three children.
Clinton’s 2016 running mate, Sen Tim Kaine, said in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday that he has not had any conversations with her on the topic of a potential 2020 run.
“She should do what she wants to do, is what she should do,” Kaine said.
Asked whether Clinton would be a formidable 2020 nominee, Kaine declined to comment.
“I’m just going to leave it there,” he said, walking away from a reporter and toward a train in the basement of the Capitol.