Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) sparked some 2024 intrigue during a Sunday appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” when he hinted at a possible run for the White House. However, the West Virginia moderate’s response was notably ambiguous about which party’s banner he might run under.
Host Chuck Todd posed the question directly to Manchin: “If you run for office in 2024, are you going to run as a Democrat?”
Manchin was predictably political in his response, saying he has yet to make any decisions about his electoral future. However, he admitted that the idea of a run at the White House is a real possibility. He was even more non-committal on the “Democrat or Republican” issue.
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
Manchin said, “I got two years ahead of me now to do the best I can for my state and the country.” He did admit that “everything’s on the table,” except running for governor of the Mountain State, which he has already done.
While he refused to say if he could run for president as something other than a Democrat, he suggested that leaving the most radical leftists in Washington is possible. He added, “The only thing I can tell you is when I make my decision, what I think is the best I can support and represent the people of West Virginia and also be true to this country and the Constitution.”
Todd responded, “You’re not telling me ‘no.’”
Manchin shot back with the same answer he had just given.
Manchin’s place in the Senate has been closely linked in recent years to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ). The two were the most independent of the Senate Democrats through the first two years of the Biden administration. Shortly after Election Day last November, Sinema declared her independence and bolted from the Democratic Party.
In a separate interview on CNN, Manchin similarly avoided giving a direct answer on whether he would stick with the Democrats. He said, “I have no intention of doing anything right now.”
“Whether I do something later, I can’t tell you what the future is going to bring,” he added.
The last time Manchin seriously discussed leaving his party was when he refused to go along with Joe Biden’s first attempt to pass the “Build Back Better” spending bonanza bill. Manchin said at that time, “Me being a moderate centrist Democrat, if that causes you a problem, let me know, and I’d switch to be an independent. But I’d still be caucusing with Democrats.”