Senator Joe Manchin met with a group of Iowa business and community leaders in Washington on Wednesday, sparking rumors that the West Virginia Democrat might be considering a possible presidential run, Axios reported.
Manchin, whose current term in the Senate ends in 2024, has not ruled out the possibility that he might run for president, nor has he said if he will run for reelection in the Senate.
A spokesperson for the senator recently told the Washington Examiner that the West Virginia moderate is considering the best way he can serve his state and the country. The spokesperson only said that Manchin “will win whatever race he enters.”
Although Iowa will not be the state to kick off the 2024 Democrat primary season, it is still an influential state in presidential elections.
Speaking to the Greater Des Moines Partnership on Wednesday, Manchin outlined his centrist positions and emphasized the need to work together to tackle the country’s problems, according to Axios.
In describing his brand of politics, Manchin said he is “fiscally responsible and socially compassionate,” a description he believes describes “most Americans.” He told the group of about 170 Iowa business leaders that government should be a “partner,” not a “provider.”
When asked by Axios if he was interested in running for president, Manchin demurred, saying his “main concern” is saving the nation and working together to protect the quality of life and values of the United States. He said we must “fight for the reasonable, responsible middle,” and right now, nobody is doing that.
The Washington Examiner reported last week that Senator Manchin had a conference call with the third-party group “No Labels” in which he voiced his frustration with the current “dysfunctional” partisanship in Washington.
No Labels founder Nancy Jacobson told Axios that most voters aren’t interested in having a rematch between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in 2024 which could mean doors are opening for a possible third-party candidate.