U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) indicated that he will announce whether or not he intends to run for president within the next three months during a weekend interview, fueling speculation that another top Democrat might challenge President Joe Biden in 2024.
During an interview with Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday,” Manchin was asked about his potential decision to run as a third-party candidate in next year’s election.
“Why not have options? People aren’t satisfied right now,” the West Virginia senator responded.
Asked if he was going to announce his decision during Sunday’s interview, Manchin answered, “Not this morning. Let me just say this. I’ll do it. I’m more concerned about the country right now. What you’ve seen, the theatrics that played out yesterday and up until yesterday, it’s ridiculous.”
Throughout Sunday’s interview, Manchin emphasized the importance of U.S. leadership working in a “bipartisan way” on behalf of the American people. The West Virginia senator explained that democracy was never intended to allow one party to rule but was designed to require both sides to work together.
“You have to work together,” Manchin told Bream. “I praise Kevin McCarthy for what he did yesterday; he finally realized you can’t reason with unreasonable people, with the extremes.”
Following the bipartisan agreement in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to avert a government shutdown, Manchin expressed his hope that the constituents of leaders on the far right and far left “finally say enough is enough” by voting for people who can “at least keep our government running and moving in the right direction.”
Asked whether a potential Manchin administration could promote bipartisan cooperation, the senator told Bream, “We can do that. I think, yes, I can bring it together. That’s all I’ve ever done.”
Manchin noted that there are other leaders who are in a similar position as him regarding the desire to work in a bipartisan way with people on the center-right and center-left. However, he claimed that Biden and former President Donald Trump are not currently promoting bipartisan leadership.
“It doesn’t work pushing everything to the extremes,” he said. “This country does not run on the fringes. It never has, and it can’t start now, so they’re either going to come back, or we’re going to bring it back.”
At the conclusion of Sunday’s interview, Bream once again pressed Manchin to give a timeline on his decision regarding his plans for the 2024 presidential election.
“Well, I said before the end of the year, I will,” Manchin stated. “We’re still planning. I mean, if something that you’re saying would happen, there are no primaries; you just go right into the foray.”
Manchin’s interview with Bream is consistent with another recent interview the West Virginia senator had with The Texas Tribune, where he explained that he would not enter the 2024 presidential election as a spoiler candidate.
“I will never be involved to be a spoiler,” Manchin told the Texas Tribune. “I’ve never run a race that I didn’t intend to win. So whatever I get involved with, I’m going to intend to win.”
Elaborating on his statement, Manchin said, “The math has to work” in order for him to decide to run for president in 2024. Demonstrating evidence that the math could be in his favor, Manchin claimed that 35% of registered voters in the United States are independents.