Terry McAuliffe Jan 5 2016
CNN  — 

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will not run for president in 2020, he announced Wednesday.

“I’ve listened to the Virginians and I’m going to help Virginia for the next six months. I could spend eight months traveling around the country running for president, or six months really making a difference,” the Virginia Democrat told CNN’s Chris Cuomo during an exclusive interview on “Cuomo Prime Time.”

McAuliffe said that, after being courted by state Democrats, he would be “going home” to help coordinate the campaigns of the state’s national and local Democrats.

“I’m going to work the next six months every single day to make sure Virginia, we win the House and the Senate, and then next year I’m going to work like a dog to make sure that we are blue,” he said. “We were the only southern state that went for Hillary in 2016, very proud of that. We need to do it again in (20)20.”

McAuliffe expressed confidence Wednesday that “I could really make a difference” and beat “Trump like a rented mule.”

“But we’ve got issues in Virginia and I’m concerned about Virginia, and since February we’ve had a lot of problems there,” he added, in an apparent reference to the blackface and alleged sexual assault scandals that engulfed local Virginia Democrats earlier this year.

McAuliffe also hinted at the difficulty of entering a quickly crowding Democratic field, pointing to the choice of “getting in with a field of 20 today and trying to get your message to break through, where tomorrow I can make a real difference in the commonwealth of Virginia.”

But McAuliffe left the door open to a possible future run.

“I would loved to have done it as president,” he said. “I’m still a young man, we’ll see what happens. But this is a real opportunity – I started it, I need to finish it.”