Democratic senator deflects questions about 2020 presidential run

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy deflected questions about running for president in 2020, saying he is focused on winning his re-election in 2018.

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“I have an election in 2018 and so, all of my focus is on asking the people of Connecticut to send me back to the United States Senate,” the Connecticut Democrat told ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” Wednesday.

He added, “I know everybody thinks that every member of the Democratic Caucus in the Senate is starting to noodle their 2020 plans right now.”

The 2020 presidential election may be three years away, but Democrats are searching for a candidate who can take down President Donald Trump. The growing list of potential candidates includes Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Cory Booker, among others.

When asked by ABC News’ Jonathan Karl and Rick Klein if he should be kept on a 2020 presidential contenders list, he insisted his focus right now is on his re-election, but noted that he will “cross bridges” that come after 2018 at that point.

“I am thinking about one thing and one thing only right now, and that is my re-election in 2018,” Murphy quipped.

On CBS News’ “The Takeout” podcast, Murphy, 44, ruled out a White House bid in 2020.

“I am not running for president. I am running for re-election to the Senate,” Murphy said, later adding, “Here you go, I will rule it out for you. I’m running for re-election.”

The junior senator, who has called for stricter gun control following the 2012 Newtown shooting in Connecticut, said he is interested in joining newer, younger leaders in having a “say” about the future of the country and political parties.

“I’m certainly interested in taking part in that exercise, but my focus is fundamentally on the people of Connecticut and asking them for a second term.”

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