Many potential presidential candidates have been mentioned for both Democrats and Republicans leading up to next year’s election, but a new surprising one emerged this week.
A report from Axios claimed that moderate Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia might be preparing a “third-party presidential bid” to claim the White House for himself. Some of the recent actions that he’s taken appear to be made toward angling for a presidential run.
Earlier this week, Manchin met with a group of business leaders in Iowa, telling them that his ideas for politics are “fiscally responsible and socially compassionate.” Iowa used to be the first primary for both parties, but no longer is for the liberals after the Democratic Party changed the order of states in the primary season.
Axios reported that Manchin is trying to appear to Iowa’s Democratic voters by taking a stance that’s different than most other Democrats. He said:
“I believe the government should be your partner. I’m not your provider.”
Manchin has always been at least a little bit at odds with the Biden administration, not automatically getting in line behind some of President Joe Biden’s biggest spending initiatives, such as the failed Build Back Better bill.
His opposition to the president’s agenda has only increased in recent months. Manchin even released a statement earlier this week that said he would oppose every one of the president’s nominees to the Environmental Protection Agency because of their “radical climate agenda [and] their government overreach.”
Manchin hasn’t said that he would be leaving the Democratic Party, but he’s facing a potential uphill battle to hang onto his Senate seat in his home state of West Virginia. Biden is very unpopular in West Virginia, which tilts Republican most of the time.
Despite this, Manchin has said that his “main concern” was attempting to figure one major thing out. He asked:
“How do we save this nation? How do we bring people together to protect the quality of life, the values that we’ve had that we were raised with?
“You have got to fight for the reasonable, responsible middle, and no one is doing that. There’s no options.”
Talks have swirled for the last few months that Manchin might decide to leave the liberal party, after he made comments during an appearance on the “Sunday Morning Futures” program on Fox News in February. Host Maria Bartiromo asked him whether he still identified as a Democrat – even after voting against many liberal bills.
“I identify as an American. I’m an American through and through.”
One month earlier, Manchin was asked by NBC News host Chuck Todd whether he would run for re-election to the Senate as a Democrat. He evaded that question somewhat when he responded:
“I haven’t made a decision what I’m going to do in 2024. I’ve got two years ahead of me now to do the best I can for the state and for my country.”
He added that “everything’s on the table” for his political future. Apparently, that may include a third-party presidential run.