Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) criticized President Joe Biden last week, saying that the president had given in to figures on the far left of the Democratic Party. The senator’s comments came amid speculation about whether the self-described conservative Democrat would run for the White House as an independent.
Manchin made the comments during a political event in New Hampshire last week.
While speaking to the New England Council in New Hampshire’s St. Anselm College, Manchin said that Biden had been “pushed to the far left.”
“But I would love to see President Biden move back to where he came from — where we thought he was. That’s what I’d love to see. And that centrist type — that’s what the country wants, I really believe that,” Manchin added.
The senator told the crowd that the Republican and Democratic Parties pushed voters “to the extremes.”
The senator also criticized the Biden administration’s reversal on energy policies, which he called “breaking the law.” Manchin had negotiated increased traditional fuel extraction in exchange for his support for the Inflation Reduction Act. However, after the act passed, Manchin argued that the Biden administration did not honor the letter of the law.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 13, 2024
Last year, Manchin announced that he would not run for another term in the Senate. The senator was facing a significant challenge from current West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R). Polling indicated that Justice would likely beat Manchin in a general election.
Despite his decision not to run for the Senate again, Manchin has hinted in the past that he could run for president. He said previously that he would win any 2024 race that he entered, without describing which one he meant.
Amid the speculation, Manchin appeared at the New Hampshire event, just weeks before the state holds one of the earliest primary elections of 2024.
The group No Labels is reportedly considering running a third-party candidate against President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump. Manchin has been speculated as a potential nominee in such an effort.