It’s not clear how many people were asking, but Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) provided a definitive answer on Monday: No, he’s not running for president.
Schiff was queried about the prospect while appearing at a “Politics & Eggs” event in New Hampshire, a gathering that has become a rite of passage for potential candidates in the nation’s first presidential primary state.
“Thank you for the question,” Schiff said, drawing laughter from the crowd of business leaders and political junkies.
“I, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, am not old enough to run for president,” Schiff offered, generating more laughter as he referred to the 29-year-old congresswoman who’s become a celebrity since her debut on Capitol Hill this year.
An Axios-SurveyMonkey poll last month found that 74 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning adults would consider voting for Ocasio-Cortez for president if they could. But they can’t: Under the Constitution, you must be at least 35 to be president.
“Okay, I’m a little older than that,” Schiff, 58, playfully acknowledged. “I’m not running.”
Schiff, who became chairman of the House Intelligence Committee when Democrats took control of Congress this year, said he’ll be looking at others to carry the party’s mantle into 2020.
“In terms of who is running, and who is best-positioned to defeat Trump, I think we’ve got a lot of extraordinary candidates,” he said, adding that he will examine candidates to determine “who can rise to the occasion” and who has “the gravitas and experience” to defeat President Trump.