Joe Manchin Says He Won’t Be Running For President

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) announced on Friday that he will not be running for president as an independent candidate.

Making his revelation during a speech in Morgantown, West Virginia, the more moderate Democrat said, “I will not be seeking a third-party run. I will not be involved in a presidential run. I will be involved in making sure that we secure a president that has the knowledge and has the passion and has the ability to bring this country together.”

While he indicated that he might run for president somewhere down the road, he admitted that a 2024 presidential run would have been “very challenging.”

Noting that he did not want to be a “spoiler” or a “deal-breaker,” he stated, “I just don’t think it’s the right time. We’re on a real teetering situation here that could go either way. Democracy is at stake right now.”

Manchin’s announcement finally put down speculation that he would be making a third-party run. His decision to not make a presidential bid would come as a relief to Democrats, many of whom opposed the idea of him making a bid out of fear that a third-party bid from him would hurt President Joe Biden who is seeking reelection and only help his major rival, former President Donald Trump.

Speaking of how much danger he poses to Biden’s campaign, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said, “I think it would be very, very unfortunate if Joe Manchin decided to do that. He knows that if he were to step in [to the race] that it would make it much more likely Donald Trump would be president again, and I know Joe Manchin doesn’t want that.”

Senate Democrats also have one more reason for not wanting a third-party bid from Manchin. According to them, it could jeopardize their already narrow majority in the Senate.

Shortly before Manchin’s announcement, he revealed that he had a potential running mate in mind should he decide to run.

“Hypothetically, if I was picking my running mate, really who I would ask right now is Mitt Romney,” he said.