A Democrat Senator isn’t ready to give up his presidential aspiration quite yet.
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin signaled that his interest in potentially launching his own presidential campaign has not been deterred by President Biden’s reported re-election plans.
While speaking with Semafor’s Steve Clemmons, Sen. Manchin declined to rule out a bid for higher office.
“I don’t know what the next chapter will be, I don’t know [where] the future lies, I really don’t,” Manchin said when asked if he would run for president next year during a question-and-answer session hosted by Clemons.
“I can tell you one thing: I feel, like most Americans, we’ve got to come together. Americans want to be united, they want to be together and right now we’re going further apart,” he said.
He predicted that voters are going to be looking for “somebody” to bring the country together but didn’t say whether he would be the politician to do that as the next president.
“I’m not saying I have any aspirations” to run for the White House, he said, adding a caveat: “I’ve been [in Washington] 12 years. I don’t like what I see; I don’t the direction we’re going and I’m going to work and commit myself to try to get people who want to do the right thing to find the pathway forward, bringing the country back together.”
Manchin has recently criticized Democratic leaders for refusing to negotiate with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) over a package of fiscal reforms to attach to legislation raising the debt limit.
“It’s unreasonable for any senator, any congressperson representing the United States government to say, ‘I’m not going to negotiate,’” he told reporters on Capitol Hill. “If you can’t communicate and you won’t talk to each other, you got a problem.”