U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) remains one of the Capitol’s most prominent critics of former President Donald Trump, as evidenced by her recent assertion that she would vote for a third-party candidate over the 2024 GOP presidential primary front-runner.
Murkowski, who defeated a Trump-backed rival in last year’s midterm election, was the only GOP senator who was up for re-election after voting to convict following Trump’s 2021 impeachment.
During a PBS interview this week, host Margaret Hoover asked her about the possibility of Sen. Joe Manchin (R-WV) launching a White House bid as part of an upstart coalition party known as No Labels.
As for whether such a candidacy would benefit Trump’s pursuit of a second term, Murkowski equivocated, asserting: “Yeah, you know, there’s been no end of second-guessing and people moving the numbers around. I don’t know on that. Others are smarter than me with elections and can weigh in there and they certainly have.”
Nevertheless, she said that a Trump-Biden 2020 rematch would send a bad message about the state of U.S. politics.
“What does that say?” she asked. “That we have nobody better than these two.”
Insisting that American voters are “hungry” for an option in the middle, she expressed support for such a candidate.
“Would you support him if he decided to run?” Hoover asked, referring to Manchin.
The senator indicated that “if it’s a matchup between Biden and Trump” she “would go with Joe Manchin.”
She says she doesn't want to vote "for the lesser of evils."
"I want to be proactive….I think Manchin could do the job.” (1/2) pic.twitter.com/LNiqLPROYd
— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) July 20, 2023
Attempting to make the case for supporting a Democrat running as a third-party candidate, she praised the West Virginia senator, adding: “I have no qualms, no qualms providing my endorsement to a Democrat who I think has been not only extraordinarily helpful to me and Alaskan issues but in the Senate as well,” she said.
Murkowski went on to assert that she does not support voting “for the lesser of two evils,” explaining that she intends to be “proactive” by choosing a candidate capable of handling the duties of the presidency.
“I think Manchin could do the job,” she concluded, acknowledging that he might not have much of a chance in a system built around two parties.
“Will our system allow for that?” she asked. “That I don’t know.”