Democrats are faced with a big question mark as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) refuses to rush to judgment on his political future.
Manchin, who along with Arizona’s independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema often serves as a roadblock to leftist proposals in Congress, offered little insight on Sunday as he faced a flurry of questions regarding his plans, including possible presidential aspirations.
“Let’s see who is involved. Let’s wait until we see who all the players are,” Manchin said during an appearance on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” when asked whether he would endorse President Joe Biden for re-election in 2024.
Asked if he would endorse President Biden for reelection, @Sen_JoeManchin says, "Let's see who all the players are."
And on his OWN political future, Manchin demurs: "I will make my political decision in December, whatever it may be." pic.twitter.com/h6VORasqCw
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) March 5, 2023
The senator, up for re-election in 2024, is keeping his options open. When moderator Margaret Brennan claimed Manchin ruled out a presidential run, the senator responded with a denial.
“I didn’t say that. I didn’t say anything about that,” he said.
Manchin did not say he was considering a campaign for the White House, instead deferring on divulging any plans for his “political future” until the end of the year.
“I’ve got too much work to do now,” he said. Manchin stressed that his immediate priorities include tackling the “runaway” debt, inflation, energy security, and the “out of control” border.
The interview comes after Manchin declined to describe himself as a Democrat when asked. “I identify as an American,” Manchin recently told Fox News. “I’m an American through and through.”
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Democrats control the Senate, barely, but it’s complicated.
There are more Republicans in the upper chamber right now, but Democrats benefit from independents who caucus with them. However, in a break with the Democratic Party late last year, Sinema changed her party affiliation to independent.
It remains to be seen if Manchin will follow suit in some fashion as he faces a potential Republican rival in West Virginia Governor Jim Justice.
“I will make my political decision in December, whatever it may be,” Manchin said on Sunday.