The decade's most triggering comedy
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said he’s “never ruled out anything” regarding a 2024 presidential bid as he prepares to give a keynote address at a New Hampshire town hall event sponsored by a political group pushing for a third-party ticket.
Manchin will speak at Saint Anselm College in Manchester on Monday in an event by No Labels, where the political group will release its “Common Sense” policy booklet. The Democratic senator has been mulling a presidential run for months as he faces a daunting re-election bid in his dark red state. The town hall will push No Label’s stated mission of “bipartisanship” with political parties drifting toward extremes as Manchin will join former Republican Governor John Huntsman at the event.
“It is clear that most Americans are exceedingly frustrated by the growing divide in our political parties and toxic political rhetoric from our elected leaders,” Manchin said. “Our political discourse is lacking engaged debates around common sense solutions to solve the pressing issues facing our nation. I am looking forward to modeling this type of conversation with my good friend, Gov. Huntsman, and the No Labels community. The things that unite Americans are much stronger than the things that divide us and I am confident that will be evident throughout our discussion.”
Some Democrats are concerned that Manchin or another candidate boosted by No Labels will launch a third-party bid that could potentially damage President Joe Biden’s re-election chances. No Labels released private polling showing that a third-party candidate would pull more votes away from Biden than from former President Donald Trump in a hypothetical matchup, The Washington Post reported.
“No Labels equals Trump,” said Greg Schneiders, a former aide to President Jimmy Carter. “It is going to affect the race and it is going to affect it negatively for Biden, and it is probably going to elect Donald Trump.”
Manchin’s colleague Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said he wasn’t giving much thought to the third-party group but voiced concern that it could help Republicans in 2024.
“It strikes me as a Republican front group,” he said, according to Roll Call. “It’s way too early to know what the impact is going to be or whether they’ll actually run a candidate.”
Biden faces primary challenges from two candidates within his party, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson, but early polls put Biden far out of reach of any potential upset. Democrats have also voiced concern over a leftist who has already announced a third-party presidential bid. Cornel West, an Ivy League academic, is running as a Green Party, and Democrats fear the candidate will take votes away from Biden, similar to how Green Party candidate Jill Stein hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016.
A decision from Manchin will have to come soon as West Virginia Republican Governor Jim Justice has already launched his campaign for the Senate and raked in nearly $1 million in the second quarter of fundraising. Manchin said he would decide on a bid to keep his Senate seat later this year as Democratic leadership is encouraging him to run again as the party faces an uphill battle in 2024 to maintain its Senate majority.