Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) potential presidential bid may not just spoil the Senate Democrats’ chances of keeping the majority; many Democrats now worry that it may spoil the election in favor of former President Donald Trump.
“I think it would be very, very unfortunate if Joe Manchin decided to do that,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said of Manchin’s possible presidential bid.
“I know he’s a supporter of President Biden and has been an important person here in the U.S. Senate in terms of getting things done. And 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,” she added.
In early November, Manchin announced he would not seek reelection. Instead, he said he will see if it is viable to run as a potential third-party candidate.
“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 said in a video announcing he retirement from the Senate.
To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you. My statement on my political future: pic.twitter.com/dz8JuXAyTL
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 9, 2023
Manchin; however, dispelled the argument that he could spoil the election in Trump’s favor.
“I don’t buy that scenario. I’ve heard that. And — 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 told CBS. He also said he would “absolutely” consider running for president.
Still, his potential run for the nation’s highest office makes Democrats uneasy.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said, “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.”
“The simple stark fact is that a Manchin run for president would undercut Joe Biden,” the Connecticut senator said.
“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,” he continued.
The West Virginia senator has also yet to decide if he would run for president as a third-party candidate under the “No Labels” affiliation.
No Labels is a bipartisan centrist group that plans to raise $70 million to back an independent candidate for the 2024 presidential election. No Labels has gained access to the ballot in Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, and Oregon.
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.