Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) could be preparing to launch a “third-party presidential bid” in 2024 for the White House based on some of his recent actions, according to Axios.
The outlet reported that Manchin, 75, told business leaders this week in Iowa — which is no longer the first state in the Democratic Party’s nomination process — that his politics are “fiscally responsible and socially compassionate.”
The report said that Manchin appealed to Democrat voters in the state by taking a different stance than many Democrats, saying: “I believe the government should be your partner. I’m not your provider.”
The report said that his remarks came as he has increasingly opposed elements of President Joe Biden’s agenda and said in a statement this week that he will oppose all of Biden’s EPA nominees due to their “radical climate agenda” and “their government overreach.”
While Manchin did not say he was leaving the party, and he faces a potential battle to keep his seat in West Virginia due in large part to how unpopular Biden is in the state, he said his “main concern” was trying to figure out: “How do we save this nation? How do we bring people together to protect the quality of life, the values that we’ve had that we were raised with?”
“You have got to fight for the reasonable, responsible middle and no one is doing that,” he said. “There’s no options.”
Manchin’s remarks come as recent polling has found that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not want President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump to run again for president — even though both have already launched campaigns.
Manchin raised eyebrows back in February when he declined to call himself a Democrat during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“Do you still identify as a Democrat?” Bartiromo repeatedly asked Manchin.
“I identify as an American,” Manchin responded. “I’m an American through and through.”
During an interview in January on NBC News, Manchin declined to answer whether he would seek re-election as a Democrat.
“If you run for office in 2024, are you going to run as a Democrat?” host Chuck Todd asked.
“I haven’t made a decision what I’m going to do in 2024,” Manchin responded. “I’ve got two years ahead of me now to do the best I can for the state and for my country.”
Manchin said “everything’s on the table” in terms of what his political future may hold.
“So everything on the table, there’s basically only one other thing: the presidency,” Todd said. “Is that something you would do outside the Democratic Party if you could?”
“The only thing I can tell you is what I will do is whatever I can when I make my decision, what I think is the best that I can support and represent the people of West Virginia, but also be true to this country and the Constitution of this country,” Manchin responded. “I’m telling you that I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that when I make my decision, I make it based on what’s best, what I think I can do to support the best for my country and my state.”
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin says he hasn't "made a decision about what I'm going to do in 2024" — which apparently includes considering a run for president. pic.twitter.com/15kcTWkkws
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) January 22, 2023