West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin told “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan on Sunday that he won’t be voting for Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election. The response came swiftly when the senator was asked point-blank if he’d vote for Trump: “Let me make very clear: I love my country too much to vote for Donald Trump. I love my country too much,” he said.
“And I think it would be very detrimental to my country,” Manchin added. “I want to make sure that people have a choice, but also understanding the person with a character in this. We have to see what happens on Super Tuesday, I think by then you’re going to know who’s in the game, where we stand.”
Brennan also asked Manchin if he plans to enter the 2024 race as a third-party candidate himself, a question the senator has fielded before. “I think, no, I think that we’ll find out, you just have to find out what’s going on,” he said. “If there’s a movement for third party, I think is what you’re asking about, can that movement make a difference?”
Manchin didn’t completely shut down the possibility, but tried to assuage concerns he might hinder President Biden’s chances at reelection by playing a spoiler. “I’m not going to be a spoiler, never have been and never will be. But people want options, or they want change. So we got to see what comes, and by then I think things will hopefully sort itself out,” he said.
The senator also brought up Americans Together, the political organization he and his daughter Heather put together. The pair’s goal is to appeal to moderate voters who might feel underrepresented in today’s political landscape, or who feel they are not represented at all.
Manchin admitted that the organization is part of the “long game” as he heads into his final year in Congress. As he put it, “It’s a character, the person you send to Washington, who you’re voting for, and within your state, or your district, and if that person has the character where they put their country before their party, they put their service before themself, all these types of things, and people can detect that. But they have to get that person in the game.”
The senator noted that gerrymandering in the United States means that “383, 390 districts already cooked” and concluded, “The business model in Washington is too darn good for the Democrat and Republican parties. They’re doing too good. They’re getting rewarded for bad behavior. And too much money’s coming in.”
Manchin, a centrist who became one of the most powerful senators in 2020 when the party split was 50-50, is not seeking reelection after 2024 but has said he’s not leaving politics altogether.
Watch the interview with Sen. Joe Manchin in the video above.
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