by Kelli Hill
As chairman of the National Governors Association, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has been ready to work with President Trump on job creation, economic development and infrastructure, issues that are important to the Democratic governor and his state. But so far, according to McAuliffe, the president’s plans aren’t working. “This idea that we’re alienating everybody we do business with is not how you grow the economy,” McAuliffe said.
Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric caught up with Gov. McAuliffe at the Milken Conference in Los Angeles to discuss Trump’s first 100 days in office, the 2016 election and the state of the democratic party moving forward, and whether or not a run for president may be in his future.
McAuliffe says he would give President Trump “a solid gentleman’s C” for his time in office. He ticked through some of the president’s campaign promises, calling the travel ban “nothing short of a disaster” and said confidently that the wall on the border with Mexico will not be built. As for Trump’s proposed tax plan, he commented, “if he thought health care was tough, tax reform is going to be much harder.”
The former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and longtime friend of Hillary Clinton also reflected on Clinton’s loss to Trump. “Everyone likes to Monday morning quarterback,” McAuliffe said. “I think the campaign could have done a much better job with the voters explaining what Hillary was going to do economically for them. They didn’t. There was a lot of anti-Trump in the ads. I wish they would have reinforced what she was talking about when she was campaigning.”
McAuliffe admitted he has never been a true believer of data and analytics during a campaign. He pointed to Michigan and Wisconsin, two states the Clinton campaign thought she would win but that she eventually lost on election night, and said the data was “plain wrong.”
“The idea that you sit around a room with 20 people and you give them free Oreo cookies and they’re going to tell you how to run your campaign, I find that absurd. But people do it. I just don’t happen to agree with that,” McAuliffe stated.
Looking ahead to the midterm elections and even to 2020, Gov. McAuliffe wants excitement from candidates who enter the political arena. “Women are coming out of the woodwork to run for office,” he said.
One of those women running could be his wife, Dorothy, who is said to be weighing a bid for Congress in Virginia. McAuliffe thinks it would be great if his wife runs and isn’t worried about nepotism, which has been a recent concern in the political arena. “Don’t negate someone because of their last name. I don’t care what your last name is,” McAuliffe told Couric. “What have you done and what are you going to do for me? Let the voters decide.”
As for McAuliffe, he’s concentrating on a strong finish as Virginia’s governor until his term is up in January 2018. Will he throw his hat into the ring for president in 2020? “I never take anything off the table, but I am focused on being the best governor,” he said.