Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, did nearly everything except officially announce his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election.
During his appearances on multiple Sunday talk shows, Senator Manchin faced persistent questioning about his potential presidential bid. Despite being directly asked, he chose not to provide a clear answer but dropped indications that he might join the race. As a moderate Democrat, Manchin emphasized that more individuals are seeking a unifying middle ground in politics.
“First of all, I’m worn out,” Manchin said to host Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “The people are tired, sick and tired, of the fighting and division that we have and dividing the country. Abraham Lincoln said, divided, we cannot stand. We cannot … have a divided country, and we cannot withstand that. We have to come together. We’re the United States.”
“There’s a movement going on that people want to bring the extremes back to the sensible and reasonable, responsible middle,” he continued.
“Do you want to lead that movement in a bid for president?” asked Bash.
Manchin declined to respond and instead continued making his argument.
“I’m trying to get a dialogue to where people are saying, ‘come on, this is ridiculous,'” he said. “Don’t force people to go to the extremes. No one runs their life this way. Let’s come back to the middle. It’s the United States of America. It’s about our country. Everyone’s worried about their own political future. I’m worried about the country.”
Democrat Senator Joe Manchin repeatedly dodges on if he's considering a run for president in 2024: "There's a movement going on" pic.twitter.com/0sOuOlkbxW
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 2, 2023
During his appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Manchin expressed his concern that news coverage about the indictment of former President Donald Trump was diverting attention away from crucial issues such as geopolitical instability, budget and debt problems, inflation, and energy security. Host Chuck Todd commented that Manchin sounded like he was running for president and probed him once more on the subject.
“When you’re asking me what I’m going to do and what my political ambitions would be, it’s to make the country work together and be a United States and not the divided states,” Manchin responded. “I’m going to do whatever I can to have a voice in that middle, that we can basically force both sides to say, ‘Wait a minute, you’ve gone to extremes. You’ve got to start coming back. You’ve got to find ways to solve problems.’ You can’t solve them from the extreme right and the extreme left. You can’t make people, make a — pick a side.”
When directly asked whether he intends to run, Manchin once again avoided giving a direct response.
“I’m not ready to do anything this year,” he said. “Only in America does the next election start the day after the last election ended. I don’t do that. I’ve got a lot of work to do this year, and I’m going to work with everybody.”
“My filing date is January 15, 2024, and I will make my decision before that, but not until the end of the year, I can assure you,” he added.
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