Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) suggested Wednesday that he is “considering” leaving the Democratic party in comments made just one week after he announced that he would not seek reelection to the Senate.
During an interview on CNN, anchor Kaitlan Collins pressed the West Virginia senator on whether he was thinking about leaving the party after expressing disdain for what he called the “business of politics.”
“The business of politics has gotten so big because the business model is a Democrat business and a Republican business and it’s really forgotten about the people to a certain extent,” Manchin said.
“All they want is 51 or greater to be the majority and then they do so much damage trying to get there,” he continued.
When first asked if was going to leave the Democratic party, Manchin stressed that he has always been an “independent” thinker and voter over the course of an almost 40-year-long political career.
“I’ve never considered myself a Washington Democrat,” Manchin said. “I’ve been a very independent person.”
The West Virginia Senator then acknowledged Collin’s initial inquiry, saying “I know what you’re saying, but we’ll see, I haven’t gotten there yet.”
He went on to admit that leaving the party was something that “you always consider.”
“I’m sure they’d be happy— they might throw me out so who knows, they might do me a favor, I don’t know,” Manchin said.
Manchin, who held his seat since 2010, had long been considered the most vulnerable Senate Democrat ahead of the 2024 presidential election with the senator’s decision not to launch a campaign solidifying Democratic fears that the seat will almost certainly be won by Republicans in next year’s election.
The Senate Democratic campaign arm maintains that it still has ways to keep control of the chamber.
“Democrats have multiple pathways to protect and strengthen our Senate majority and are in a strong position to achieve this goal,” David Bergstein, a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman, said in a statement.
Despite his recent announcement, Manchin hasn’t ruled out a possible presidential run, telling NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Kristen Welker on Wednesday that it was something he was “absolutely” considering.
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