The path to Republicans retaking control of the Senate will go through West Virginia as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said that he won’t seek reelection next year.
On Thursday, the moderate senator who has frequently found himself at odds with the extreme left-wing agenda of President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats, made his announcement in a video posted to social media.
To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you. My statement on my political future: pic.twitter.com/dz8JuXAyTL
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 9, 2023
“After months of deliberation and long conversations with my family, I believe in my heart of hearts that I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia. I have made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for re-election to the United States Senate, but what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out to see if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together,” Manchin said in a statement.
Invoking his furniture salesman father and iconic Democrat President John F. Kennedy in the four-minute video, Manchin decried political partisanship and positioned himself as a unifying influence who could bring Americans back together, not exactly dousing the speculation that he could mount a challenge against Biden.
“Every incentive in Washington is designed to make our politics extreme. The growing divide between Democrats and Republicans is paralyzing Congress and worsening our nation’s problems. The majority of Americans are just plain worn out,” Manchin said.
“Our economy is not working for many Americans from the rising cost of food and fuel and everything in between. We have a border crisis with illegal drugs entering our country and killing Americans every day. Our national debt is out of control and Americans don’t feel safe in their own communities,” he added.
The Mountaineer State’s former governor has held the seat since 2010 when he won a special election to replace longtime Senator Robert Byrd, a former “exalted cyclops” of the Ku Klux Klan who the race-baiting Biden eulogized at his funeral as well as praised as a “mentor” and a “dear friend”
Manchin’s exit is bad news for Democrats who currently enjoy a razor-thin 51-49 majority in the upper chamber and with the open seat being in Trump country, it is highly unlikely that the party will be able to fend off a Republican challenge.
“We like our odds in West Virginia,” said National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) in a reaction to the news.
Former President Donald J. Trump took credit for Manchin’s departure, citing his endorsement of Republican West Virginia Governor Jim Justice as the reason why the 76-year-old senator bowed out of the race.
(Screenshot: Truth Social)
“Because I Endorsed Big Jim Justice of West Virginia for the U.S. Senate, and he has taken a commanding lead, Democrat Joe Manchin has decided not to seek re-election. Looking good for Big Jim!” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
“Senator Joe Manchin and I have not always agreed on policy and politics, but we’re both lifelong West Virginians who love this state beyond belief, and I respect and thank him for his many years of public service,” Justice said on X.
Senator Joe Manchin and I have not always agreed on policy and politics, but we’re both lifelong West Virginians who love this state beyond belief, and I respect and thank him for his many years of public service.
— Jim Justice (@JimJusticeWV) November 9, 2023
Democrats lashed out at Manchin’s intentions, including the sleazy collection of D.C. grifters known as The Lincoln Project.
— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) November 10, 2023
“I know our country isn’t as divided as Washington wants us to believe. We share common values of family, freedom, democracy, dignity and a belief that together we can overcome any challenge. We need to take back America and not let this divisive hatred further pull us apart,” Manchin said. “Public service has and continues to drive me every day. That is the vow that I made to my father 40 years ago, and I intend to keep that vow until my dying day.”
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