U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is hinting at a possible White House Bid in 2024, where he’ll run as an Independent.
Manchin, 75, a frequent critic of President Joe Biden who has opposed much of Biden’s agenda despite how it antagonizes other Democrats, said he worries about the division in the U.S.
Speaking to The Messenger, a nonpartisan media organization that recently launched, Manchin described how Americans were “upset” that Biden wasn’t “bringing the country together” while sharing the same feeling about former President Donald Trump because he is divisive.
He then said that people were searching for “something else” or “something better.”
When Manchin was questioned about whether that “something better” was himself, Manchin eluded to there being “a lot of options,” saying, “let’s put it this way: A lot of options.”
The West Virginia Democrat added that he has a “lot of gas in the tank still left.”
Manchin finds himself in a political no man’s land as he faces reelection in 2024.
As a Democrat in a deep red state that he won by two points in 2016 and nearly 39 points in 2020, his chances of reaching a third term are slim, considering the popular two-term former Governor Jim Justice has announced his intention to seek the state’s U.S. Senator seat.
Manchin had unparalleled political influence during the first two years of the Biden administration, when the Senate was evenly divided.
His vote was key to Biden’s success in passing the Inflation Reduction Act last year.
But he said that Biden failed him because of the bill’s focus on reducing the deficit and expanding fossil fuel energy, which is crucial for West Virginia, a state heavily dependent on coal.
Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, has also been blocking Biden’s nominations to serve on the Environmental Protection Agency because of typically conservative talking points like developing new fossil fuel production and power generation, as well as draft rules to reduce emissions from power plants.