The CNN host asked Virginia’s governor about potential presidential ambitions.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) about his possible 2020 presidential ambitions on Sunday, a question which prompted a scripted, self-praising response from McAuliffe.
At first, McAuliffe answered that he wanted to focus on his remaining time as Virginia governor, while will expire in January. However, he then shifted to bragging about his economic and political accomplishments during his gubernatorial administration.
“These are the things I focus on: jobs, jobs, jobs,” McAuliffe said.
He also called for the country to be more unified in the wake of recent division.
Tapper contrasted McAuliffe’s answer with “Shermaneqsue” denials of presidential ambitions. “I think you just gave the antonym to Shermanesque,” he said.
“I think McAuliffe-esque because that sounded like an announcement speech,” Tapper told the governor.
McAuliffe continued with half-denials, which prompted Tapper to laugh.
According to Political Dictionary, the term “Shermanesque” refers to total and complete denials of political ambition:
The term is derived from a remark made by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman when he was being considered as a possible Republican candidate for president in 1884. Sherman declined, saying, “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”
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