Will West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin Run for President?
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West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says it's time for America to find the middle ground and bring common sense back to politics.
But will the moderate Democrat actually step into the presidential ring himself after announcing he won't seek re-election to the Senate next year?
Will He Run for President in 2024?
"You know, those questions have been asked to me so many times. And me not running for Senate has nothing to do with where I think this country should be going," Manchin told CBN News. "It gives me the time now to go out and see if there's enough other people in America, whether it's me, whether it's someone else."
Some Democrats worry if Manchin runs, he'll take votes away from President Joe Biden. Manchin disagrees.
"I don't see that at all. There are no historical facts on that. If that was the case, then how can they say that Ross Perot really elected Bill Clinton? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever how this is going to go. I've never been a spoiler. If I don't think there's a pathway for it, I would not run and I would not encourage anyone else to be involved," he said.
"But if we can force the political parties to look differently than what they're looking right now and how they represent the country, if we can force them to look and say, listen, we have gotten too far, we've gotten too extreme," the West Virginia senator said.
"It's just going to be the will of the people. Do they want they want an option, you know, or are they happy with what you have? Is it going to go the way we think it's going to go? We don't know yet," Manchin said.
"Maybe it won't be Donald Trump or Joe Biden. Maybe it'll be two other people. And right now, 60 to 70% of the people on both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, aren't happy with the selection they've been given. Well, I think basically seeing if you can tap into the people that feel exactly like I do, I hear from people all over the country, everywhere I go, please do this," he told CBN News.
Even some Republicans say they'll be sad to see Manchin go. Senate Minority leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) praised him for saving the "institution" when he voted to protect the Senate filibuster rule and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) agrees saying we need more politicians who won't just toe the party line.
On the energy issue, Manchin has a reputation for protecting fossil fuels and even gas stoves.
"Well, the energy, it's not so much protecting. It's just making them realize common sense. First of all, the gas stove, can you imagine? Makes no sense at all to go over and say you're going to attack that because of, you know, pollution? We have reduced our emissions in our country and the United States of America more than most any country in the last two decades," he explained.
"Ninety percent of all pollution is going to come from one continent, Asia. And with China and India, you know, they're not going to follow suit if they're trying to meet the demands of their economies and the growth of their nation. They both have well over a billion people in each one of the countries," Manchin said.
Manchin, a Catholic, says his faith has been a guiding force in his life.
"Well, whatever you do in life, your faith should never leave you. I hope not. You know, I always say that you are who you are by where you were raised, how you were raised, and who raised you and I had a loving and loving family. I was a privileged child. Not the material things, I wasn't privileged to material things. I was privileged with an unconditional love and a love of God. And basically, the church was a big part of our life," the senator said.
"So, with that being said, I looked at all religions and all of my friends, you know, and we used to worship together. Then when I became governor, we used to have prayer services in my office. We had denominational and the nomination. All of them I had from the from the from the when you were governor. Yeah, I have. I've had from the rabbi to the Hammonds to the priest to the to the Pentecostal, to the bishop. These come in all the time," Manchin said.
If there was ever a chance a third-party candidate could have a real shot at the White House, Manchin says it could be now.
"You just have to see. I don't think there's ever been a time like this in the political posturing that we have in our country or the political procedures that we have and how we have to do things. And with that, I think that if there was ever going to be a time for an individual to run not on either of the major parties, this would be the time. So, we have to see if you're going to be able to build that type of a force." he said.
In the meantime, Manchin still has 13 months left as a United States senator representing West Virginia and says he's planning to make it count.
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