Senate Minority Whip Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Tim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week MORE (D-Ill.) on Thursday confirmed that he will seek a fifth term in the Senate.
Asked on CNN’s “New Day” whether he would run for reelection in 2020, Durbin replied that he would, adding that his response shouldn’t be taken “as a formal announcement.”
“What I’ve said is, I’m raising money and I’m trying to lose a few pounds, and that’s a good indicator that I’m looking forward to 2020,” Durbin told CNN’s John Berman.
Durbin, 74, would almost certainly coast to an easy reelection in Democratic-leaning Illinois. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, currently puts Durbin’s reelection prospects in the “Solid Democrat” column.
He has won reelection by double digits since entering the Senate in 1997, and his post as the second highest-ranking Democrat in the chamber gives him a difficult-to-match political and fundraising platform.
His most recent federal filing from October showed his campaign committee with nearly $1.7 million in cash on hand.
Still, speculation of a possible retirement for Durbin has swirled since 2016, when Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerOvernight Health Care: US showing signs of retreat in battle against COVID-19 | Regeneron begins clinical trials of potential coronavirus antibody treatment | CMS warns nursing homes against seizing residents’ stimulus checks Schumer requests briefing with White House coronavirus task force as cases rise Schumer on Trump’s tweet about 75-year-old protester: He ‘should go back to hiding in the bunker’ MORE (D-N.Y.) was tapped to replace former Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidHarry Reid says he’s cancer free White House gets jolt from strong jobs report Murkowski, Mattis criticism ratchets up pressure on GOP over Trump MORE (D-Nev.) as the chamber’s Democratic leader.
But Durbin has signaled for months that he is likely to seek another term. During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last month, the No. 2 Senate Democrat said that signs pointed to another reelection bid.
“I can tell people that I’m raising money and trying to lose some weight, that’s usually the first indication that you’re up for reelection,” Durbin said.
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Durbin also ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE over the ongoing partial government shutdown on Thursday, accusing the president of choosing funding for his long-promised border wall over responsible stewardship of the federal government.
“The president has made the decision that despite his responsibility to manage and lead this government, he would rather shut it down and hold it hostage for his beloved wall — that wall the Mexicans were supposed to pay for,” he said on CNN.
Durbin insisted that Democrats would not capitulate to the president’s demand for more than $5 billion in funding for border wall construction, arguing that lawmakers had already agreed on a package that would provide $1.3 billion for border security.
“We are not going to compromise on the basics. And the basics are we are offering $1.3 billion for border security – an amount which was debated back and forth among Democrats and Republicans in a Republican Congress and came forward,” he said.