Joe Manchin Holds Out On Biden Endorsement

Outgoing Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, who recently announced that he would not launch a 3rd-party run for president, said last week he did not plan to endorse anyone “right now,” The Hill reported.

The West Virginia moderate announced in November that he would not be seeking reelection to the Senate in 2024, prompting some speculation that he would run for president as a third-party candidate.

However, on February 16, Manchin announced that he would not be involved in the 2024 race, saying he had no intention of acting as a “deal breaker” or “spoiler.”

In an interview with CNN’s Kaitlan Collins just days after his announcement, Manchin was asked if he would be endorsing President Biden’s reelection campaign.

Manchin said he wouldn’t endorse anyone for now, explaining that there was still “plenty of time.”

He said for now, he planned to do everything he could to help the Democrats move “back to the middle” where he said “the strength of this country lies.”

Collins pressed Manchin on the issue, asking what he thought it would mean if he failed to throw his support behind Biden.

Manchin reiterated that his focus right now was to seek a “pathway forward” to ensure that centrist voters are represented in Washington.

The West Virginia Democrat decried the rise of political extremism on both sides and said he still believed that many Republican and Democrat voters would prefer a more centrist approach to governing.

Unsatisfied with Manchin’s answers, Collins once again pressed him on endorsing President Biden, asking what he planned to do in November if the race is between President Biden and Donald Trump.

Unwilling to take the bait, Manchin said that it was still a “long time before that happens,” and he would wait and see. He suggested that other candidates could get into the race, including a third-party candidate from No Labels.

Collins continued to press, reminding Manchin that when he announced that he would not run, he said he wanted to ensure that the country elected a president who could bring the American people together. She suggested that Joe Biden matched that description.

Manchin said the Joe Biden he used to know may have but since becoming president, Biden has been pushed “too far to the left.” He said he hoped that Biden could return to the center, adding that if Biden doesn’t, “it’s going to be a long road for everybody.”