Potential 2020 presidential candidate and former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announces his support for a "realistic" Medicare For All plan in an interview on CNN's 'State of the Union.'
"We all support Medicare for all," he said about the field of 2020 Democratic candidates. "But we have got to figure out how we pay for it. It's unrealistic in terms of how we pay for it today. But do we want everybody covered under health care? Of course, we do... I'm saying I support that everybody in this country gets access to quality, affordable health care, whatever you may want to call it."
"We can't be making promises that are not realistic," he also said.
DANA BASH: Governor, you sound like a man who's running for president. You want to announce right now?
MCAULIFFE: Well, I'm not going to announce right now.
I'm obviously looking at it. I have got time. I have got a lot of great relationships, 40 years of...
BASH: Do you have time?
MCAULIFFE: Sure. I have 40 years of working for this party. I have plenty of friends in many states. So I don't have to rush into this.
But what folks want and let's be clear, Dana. Here's the message for Democrats. They don't want an angry liar in the White House. They want someone who is compulsively optimistic and realistic. And the Democrats have to lay out an agenda of success of what we plan to do.
I look at my record as Virginia -- a record amount of jobs created, what we were able to do to build a new Virginia. And people want politicians to get results. That's why I think governors are always important. We have to balance budgets. We have to build roads. We have to clean the roads. We have to fund education, very results-oriented.
We don't have filibusters as governors. I think governors are very important to this. But we can't be making promises that are not realistic.
Listen, I like the idea of free college, but there is no way the Democratic Party should support paying for children of wealthy parents to go to school. I can afford to send my children to school. The federal government shouldn't be paying for my kids.
But there are things we need to do, access to credentialing and apprenticeships to match the skills with the jobs. That should be the debate.
BASH: What about Medicare for all?
BASH: What about Medicare for all?
MCAULIFFE: We all support Medicare for all. The system as it exists today...
BASH: You support Medicare for all?
MCAULIFFE: Yes, but we have got to figure out how we pay for it. It's unrealistic in terms of how we pay for it today.
But do we want everybody covered under health care? Of course we do.
BASH: But this is specifically -- you know what we're talking about. This is an original Bernie Sanders idea that a lot of potential 2020 competitors have signed on to.
You're saying you're for that?
MCAULIFFE: I'm saying I support that everybody in this country gets access to quality, affordable health care, whatever you may want to call it, because the system today -- and I was a big support of the ACA, but we do need to tweak it to take it to the next level. We have got to fix it.
Am I for health care for all individuals, affordable, quality care? You bet I am. The key is -- and this is why I say governors are very important, because, when we make promises, we have to deliver. We have to actually pay for what we're actually promising.
So, as we get into this debate, let's have an honest, realistic discussion of where we need to go as a nation.
But, clearly, what we have in the White House today is not working.