Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, has sparked worries among his fellow Senate Democrats with his potential bid for the presidency. Many are concerned that his candidacy may not only damage the party’s chances of retaining the majority but also tilt the election in favor of former President Donald Trump.
Senator Debbie Stabenow from Michigan expressed her concerns, stating, “I think it would be very, very unfortunate if Joe Manchin decided to do that. I know he’s a supporter of President Biden and has been an important figure in the U.S. Senate in terms of achieving results.
He knows that if he were to enter the race, it would increase the likelihood of Donald Trump becoming president again, and I know Joe Manchin doesn’t want that.”
Although Manchin announced his decision not to seek reelection in early November, he mentioned the possibility of running as a third-party candidate.
In a video announcing his retirement from the Senate, he stated, “But what I will be doing is traveling the country and speaking out, seeing if there is an interest in creating a movement to mobilize the middle and bring Americans together.”
Manchin, however, dismissed the argument that his candidacy could benefit Trump. He said, “I don’t buy that scenario. I’ve heard that. And I wouldn’t buy that scenario because if you look back in history, how things have played out, I don’t think that they thought Ross Perot would elect Bill Clinton.” He also expressed his willingness to consider running for president.
Nonetheless, Manchin’s potential run for the presidency has left many Democrats feeling uneasy. Senator Richard Blumenthal from Connecticut voiced his disappointment, saying, “My reaction is disappointment, deep disappointment.
At his core, I think Joe Manchin is a Democrat and believes in Democratic values and principles. I’m deeply disappointed that he is still even talking about a possible run that would undermine Joe Biden.”
Blumenthal further emphasized the potential consequences of a Manchin candidacy, stating, “The simple stark fact is that a Manchin run for president would undercut Joe Biden.
The prospect of a Donald Trump presidency is more frightening to me than any other political event in my lifetime. I think it’s a real prospect of the United States turning its back on democracy if he is elected president.”
Moreover, Manchin has yet to make a decision on whether he would run for president as a third-party candidate under the affiliation of “No Labels.”
This bipartisan centrist group aims to raise $70 million to support an independent candidate for the 2024 presidential election and has already gained ballot access in Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, and Oregon.