The list of challengers to President Joe Biden’s bid for reelection keeps growing. On the right, we’ve got former president Donald Trump, Florida governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, a bunch of other long-shot candidates, and, in all likelihood, former vice president Mike Pence. On the left, there’s self-help author Marianne Williamson and vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Now, at least one more character is toying with joining the cast of 2024: On Sunday, Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia, said he’s not not thinking about a possible run for president as a third-party candidate.
In May, the New York Times reported that the centrist nonpartisan group No Labels is seeking to put a third-party candidate on the ballot in 2024, and that Manchin is reportedly “at the top of their list.” When asked by “Fox News Sunday” host Shannon Bream about the report, and whether a bid for the Oval is in the cards for Manchin, he said, after some prodding, he was “not ruling anything in, not ruling anything out.”
“No Labels has been moving and pushing very hard, the centrist middle. Making common-sense decisions,” Manchin said. “People that basically expect us to do our job. And not put the political party ahead of the policy in our great country. That’s what we’ve seen happening. And there’s more noise and more extremism coming from the far left and the far right.”
Watch Bream’s questioning at about 5:15 here:
— Fox News Sunday (@FoxNewsSunday) June 4, 2023
Manchin is no stranger to being at odds with the president. He’s been at the center of several contentious party-line votes under Biden, including, most memorably, in late 2021, torpedoing the Build Back Better bill, a $2.2 trillion plan to address climate change and fund social policies like paid family leave. Manchin’s decision was met with searing criticism from his Democratic colleagues.
He’s also used his position as a moderate Democrat to his advantage. Included in the debt ceiling deal Biden signed on Saturday, for instance, was final approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a controversial gas pipeline that Manchin has backed for years. “Finally we’re going to finish it,” he told Bream on Sunday. “It’ll be up and running by January of next year.”