Yang: Manchin presidential run would be bad for Biden

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang said a potential Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) third-party presidential bid could seriously hurt President Biden and assist former President Trump’s attempts at a second term.

Manchin announced this week that he will not run for reelection in 2024. The senator has long flirted with a 2024 presidential bid with No Labels, an upstart centrist party that has shown interest in fielding a bipartisan presidential ticket.

“I think if that happened then it would be bad for Joe Biden than the Democrats and there are a lot of folks who’ve been deeply concerned about that,” Yang said in a CNN interview Friday. “The numbers show that just about anyone that No Labels runs increases the chances of Trump winning.”

Yang attempted a 2016 presidential bid as an outsider Democrat before later founding the Forward Party, a centrist organization.

Despite conversations with No Labels, he said he would not run for president with the group in 2024 but would support a primary challenge to the president.

“I would not do something that would increase the chances of Trump winning,” he said. “I am much more bullish on something like [Rep.] Dean Phillips [D-Minn.] running within the Democratic Party and then being a superior nominee to be able to beat Trump next November as opposed to hoping that Joe Biden turns it around.”

Phillips’ long-shot primary challenge has been mostly ignored by the president and his campaign, and primary polls show Phillips gaining little traction against Biden.

But other third-party bids could hurt Biden as well. In the CNN interview, Yang recalled the close margins of the 2016 election, where third-party votes for the Green Party’s Jill Stein could have cost Hillary Clinton the election.

Stein announced Thursday that she will run again in 2024, while Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and academic Cornel West also mount campaigns independently.

“The margin of victory in some of these states is less than 1 percent,” he said. “So a candidate in the Green Party column or an RFK figure could completely determine the outcome.”

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