WASHINGTON (WOWK) — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Tuesday in an exclusive interview with “CBS Evening News'” Norah O’Donnell didn’t rule out a potential Presidential run, and discussed a hypothetical election between Donald Trump (R) and Joe Biden (D).
This was Sen. Manchin’s first TV interview since announcing he would not seek reelection to the U.S. Senate in 2024, a race many would be looking at as this almost guarantees Republican control of the Senate.
Here are five things that West Virginia and the nation learned from this interview with O’Donnell:
Manchin didn’t rule out a 2024 Presidential run
When asked by O’Donnell if he would run for President, he said, “It’s not about me; it’s not about the next election. I keep telling people, ‘This is a movement.'”
Manchin also didn’t give a hard yes or no. Instead, he said, “I don’t know what the future lies. I know we can’t continue the direction we’re going.”
Manchin “could not” vote for Donald Trump
In a hypothetical Presidential election between incumbent President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, Manchin said, “I could not vote for Donald Trump.”
He isn’t completely on board with Biden either. When asked about a second term for Biden, he said, “I think that people make those choices. I can’t make that choice.”
“Very concerned” about another Biden vs. Trump election
“You can’t be a person who believes the only fair election is the one you win; You can’t be a person who believes that the only laws pertain to everyone but me,” Manchin said.
Manchin said he tried and was unable to work with Trump when he was President, and said Trump had “visceral hatred and degradation of human beings.” He also was upset about the way Trump talked about people “that makeup America.”
Manchin doesn’t “buy” that a third-party run would give votes to Trump
“I don’t buy that scenario; I’ve heard that, and I wouldn’t buy that scenario,” Manchin said.
Many people believe that a third-party nominee could play the part of a spoiler, giving votes to another party. Some look to 2016 and blame Jill Stein — who has announced she is seeking the Green Party nomination — for giving the election to Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
Manchin looks back further in history to 1992 when Bill Clinton (D) beat George H. W. Bush (R) when Ross Perot, an Independent from Texas, captured close to 19% of the popular vote.
“I don’t think they thought Ross Perot would elect Bill Clinton,” Manchin said. “Now that we see some polls with Bobby Kennedy Jr., would be helping Joe Biden, because it takes votes from Donald Trump.”
Moderate U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Manchin have also talked about this. Manchin said they have “agreed to disagree.”
“I feel politically homeless.”
When Sen. Manchin, who positions himself as a moderate who goes against the Democrats’ status quo, announced he would not seek reelection, one thing he touched on was a divide between Democrats and Republicans that he said is worsening problems in the U.S.
Manchin said he feels “politically homeless” and said he believes he is an Independent.
Back in July, Manchin spoke at a town hall event in New Hampshire sponsored by No Labels, which is a centrist group looking to give voters a third option.