“I’ve been around in public office for over 40 years … and (we’re) seeing this civility that we’ve lost completely. You can be a Democrat or Republican, you don’t have to be an enemy,” Manchin said in an interview Thursday with Cuomo.
Manchin likened what he sees as a lack of “civility” in the U.S. to that of a “third-world country trying to find its footing.”
“That’s not who we are. And the world is not going to say ‘Oh, democracy must be great, look how well it’s working there.’ We’ve got to show them that there are freedoms and liberties that come with democracy, but there’s also an expectation that you have an understanding of your civil and moral code of how we treat each other,” Manchin said.
Manchin, who recently announced that he won’t seek reelection in 2024, rejected the idea that he’s giving up on American democracy — despite frequent disagreements with members of both political parties.
“I used to be a pretty moderate, centrist Democrat and never really thought of the Republicans as being my enemy,” Manchin said. “But now it’s gotten so bad … the extremes have taken over toward the loudest or the base or whatever they want to call them. But that’s not where America is.”
Manchin also accused President Joe Biden of moving further to the left since taking the Oval Office in 2020.
“We always thought him to be moderate, middle, and he’s been pushed clear to the left,” Manchin said “CUOMO.”
A draft committee pushing a presidential ticket with Manchin and Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is planning to launch publicly next week along with a new website titled “America Back on Track,” according to a person with direct knowledge of the committee who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to disclose internal planning ahead of the launch.
Initially, the draft effort plans to raise $1 million for a budget to commission polling to show that there is a path to victory for a Romney-Manchin ticket as part of the No Labels movement, according to the person.
Romney and Manchin have not signed onto this effort, the person said. But the group expects to build out presidential campaign infrastructure for Romney and Manchin and ultimately court No Labels delegates to win the nomination at its March 2024 convention in Dallas.
In an interview with NBC News on Wednesday, Manchin said he would “absolutely” consider running for president.
He was asked about potential national political ambitions by NewsNation’s Cuomo.
“Why not just be the guy that you’ve always been? And just give a straight answer?” asked Cuomo.
“Well, I can give you a straight answer: That is not my motive right now, that’s not what I’m doing right now,” he said. “I’m trying to basically see if there are people that wish to do and find a candidate, whether it be me or anyone else. I will do whatever I can to save this nation. I will. But I’ve got to see if there’s a movement there.”
Going into the 2024 presidential election, Manchin said the concerns of voters in West Virginia echo the concerns he hears from voters nationwide.
“They’re concerned about the border, the borders are not secured. They’re concerned about the people that are here, that don’t have a work visa, they can’t even work to pay for themselves,” he said. “And Democrats are not strong on the border. And Republicans don’t want to give anyone a visa to work, they just want to throw everybody out. You can’t do that.”
Despite not officially throwing his hat in the ring for president in 2024, Manchin’s appeal to the politically moderate sounded like a presidential pitch.
“This is bigger than just the 2024 election. The middle is going to have to recapture the heart and soul of America,” he said. “That’s where people are. That’s how you run your life, that’s how basically any successful business runs its life: Not from the extremes but working in common sense and togetherness.”
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Author: Sean Noone