Manchin blasts polarized political parties amid talk of No Labels ‘unity ticket’ for 2024

The polarization of American politics played into one moderate senator’s rip on partisanship fueling ongoing speculation of a third party bid.

“All they’re asking for is ‘Do the citizens of the United States want some other options?'”

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D) flirtation with leaving the Democratic Party only intensified with his alignment with the No Labels Party and his own participation in the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. Sunday, he joined WABC 770 AM’s John Catsimatidis where he talked up the possibility of a “unity ticket” while chiding the dominant parties for seeing fit to “villainize” one another.

“If you’re a Democrat, they expect you to villainize every Republican,” he said on “The Cats Roundtable.” “And if you’re a Republican, you should villainize the Democrats.”

“That’s not the way our founding fathers intended for this democracy to work. It was intended for us to work together,” added Manchin.

Speaking specifically to the efforts from the No Labels Party and their idea to push a “unity ticket,” the West Virginia senator said, “All they’re asking for is ‘Do the citizens of the United States want some other options?'”

Also speaking with Catsimatidis was the founding chairman of No Labels, one-time running mate to former Vice President Al Gore and former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) who contended, “There’s always been differences of opinion. But today, you just don’t have a difference of opinion and a debate on an issue on the floor in Congress. You treat the other person as if they were a member of an enemy nation.”

“What motivates us is not that we want to run a ticket,” argued the former senator. “But we hope that maybe the strength that we’re showing will be a message to the two parties to try to come back toward the center and, not to change what they think is right, but to begin to work together for the good of the country.”

The potential of a third-party candidacy, coupled with President Joe Biden’s lasting low favorability, raised concerns from the left about a serious threat to the incumbent’s reelection strategy.

Over on ABC’s “The View” in July co-host Ana Navarro railed in July, “I think this is the stupidest thing ever, and let me just say this. My husband has been very supportive of No Labels. He’s been a part of No Labels. When No Labels started, one of the things they did was bring together a bunch of people in Congress, Senate and House, with a bipartisan agenda. It was Republicans and Democrats trying to work together on some of the crises that we have in this nation and I think that part is so needed and so great.”

“But this is dangerous because let’s just put things in context. This is not a normal thing. This is not Bill Clinton versus George Herbert Walker Bush with Ross Perot playing spoiler,” she continued with a reference to the 1992 presidential election. “No! This is Donald Trump! He is a threat to national security! He has threatened our democracy! He caused an insurrection! He has weaponized government against his enemies!”

Partisanship played heavily into reactions to the senator’s comments as some agreed that more options would improve the electoral process while others demonstrated in real-time the villainization of partisan politics.


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Kevin Haggerty


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