Politics

Seth Moulton says he’s been approached to run for president in 2020

Congressman Seth Moulton says he’s not running for president in 2020 but said on MSNBC Friday that he’s been approached to do so.

“Look, I’ve been approached, but we’ve got to remain focused on 2018,” the Massachusetts Democrat told “Morning Joe” cohost Willie Geist in an interview. “If we can’t figure out how to win in 2018, we don’t have a prayer for 2020. And if we can win back the House in 2018, that’s how we can actually keep this president in check.”

Asked what he says when he’s urged to consider a run, Moulton again deflected.

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“I say that I’m focused on 2018 and I’m not running in 2020. That we have so much work to do, we can’t be distracted by talking about 2020.”

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The interview came just hours before Moulton was scheduled to get on a plane headed to Iowa, which traditionally holds the first presidential contest. Moulton is among three keynote speakers at the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry event Saturday, an event that has served as a launching pad for previous presidential candidates such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

While Moulton and his aides contend they are simply focused on Democrats retaking the US House majority in 2018, he is scheduled to have a number of private meetings while in Des Moines that could begin to build a presidential campaign.

Moulton said on MSNBC that he’s been involved in recruitment efforts across the country to get more veterans to run for office.

Christina Prignano can be reached at christina.prignano@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @cprignano. James Pindell can be reached at james.pindell@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell.