In another headache for the Biden reelection campaign, it seems Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin is not ruling out running against the feeble commander-in-chief in a 2024 bid for the White House.
The West Virginia congressman has been a thorn in the side of Democrats as he has held up voting, disagreed with policy, and basically made his differences with President Joe Biden’s administration known as a senator. Last week, the 76-year-old announced he would not be seeking reelection in a stunning video message that left his party shocked and wondering if they could hold on to their thin majority in the upper chamber of Congress without him.
Now, Manchin has revealed that he could indeed even become a political rival of the sitting president as he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker he would “absolutely” consider a run for president.
The moderate Democrat told Welker he would “do anything I can to help my country” when asked about his next move.
“And you’re saying, ‘Does that mean you would consider it?”” he said after Welker pressed for clarification. “Absolutely. Every American should consider it if they’re in a position to help save the country.”
He also expressed his fears about former President Donald Trump returning to the White House, saying he is “absolutely scared to death” about the prospect and claiming “we will lose democracy as we know it” if that happens.
“And my reason for saying that – you can’t normalize this visceral hatred, calling people names and attacking people,” he said. “You can’t basically think the only fair election is the one you win, and the only laws pertain to everybody but you.”
But Manchin also told Welker that Biden has been “pushed” out of the center and needs to reposition himself as a moderate in order to win reelection.
“I’m afraid that Joe Biden’s been pushed too far to the left,” he said.
“Can he come back? We’ll see,” he added. “But the bottom line is that’s not the Joe Biden that we thought was being elected, to go that far left.”
The senator indicated he would make a decision about running for president by Super Tuesday which is March 5, 2024. This, he told Welker, will depend on whether voters are looking for a moderate candidate like himself to run, saying it “looks pretty obvious that President Biden will be the nominee for the Democratic ticket. And former President Trump would be the nominee for the Republican ticket,”
He acknowledged there is a “high probability” that his vacated Senate seat will end up in GOP hands.
“The high probability of that happening is yes, because I know my state and I know where it’s gone and it’s been overwhelmingly Republican,” Manchin said. “That was not the reason I decided not to run. I’ve done everyhing I can possibly do.”
Manchin told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on Wednesday that he has never thought of himself as “a Washington Democrat” and may consider departing the Democrat Party.
“I’ve never considered myself a Washington Democrat. I’ve been a very independent person,” he said.
“Sure, you always consider that, absolutely,” adding that “they might throw me out so, who knows, they might do me a favor. I don’t know, we’ll see,” he responded when Collins asked about leaving his party.
“I think we lose democracy as we know it,” Sen. Manchin warns if Donald Trump is reelected. But asked isn’t that the point the White House is making when they say he shouldn’t run as a third-party candidate, Manchin says, “Let me just tell you, I’m not going to be a spoiler.” pic.twitter.com/9mx1addzkB
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) November 16, 2023
“No matter what [letter] I have by me, I’m an independent thinking, I vote independently and I have always done that for 40 years,” Manchin told Collins.
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