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Manchin Discusses Possible VP Picks in Hypothetical Third-Party Run

Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) has mentioned at least two names he would consider as his running mate if he were to mount a third-party bid for the presidency.

As Fox News reports, the outgoing Democrat specifically named Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and former Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), both moderate Republicans.

“Hypothetically, if I was picking my running mate, really, who I would ask right now is Mitt Romney,” said Manchin on Thursday at the City Club of Cleveland breakfast forum. “Maybe Rob Portman would be right there, too. Rob is a dear friend of mine. What a good man, what a good man.”

Manchin was responding to repeated questions from moderator Dan Moulthrop, the CEO of City Club, asking about a third-party or independent candidacy for president this year. In response, Manchin insisted that he is “not running for anything,” but is instead “basically running to try to get people involved.”

After announcing that he would not seek re-election to the Senate this November, speculation quickly soared that the moderate Democrat may challenge incumbent Joe Biden by running an independent campaign that would siphon votes away from the Democratic nominee.

Last year, Manchin’s daughter Heather launched a nonprofit called Americans Together, which claims to be dedicated to pulling Americans away from the “extremes” of both political parties.

“We stand against extremism in politics. It has taken over our political system and taken away our voice,” says the campaign website of Americans Together. “As proud Americans, we agree on more than we disagree. We demand that our politicians put country before party to get things done. Enough is enough.”

Manchin has said that he will make a final decision on whether or not to run after the Super Tuesday primaries on March 5th, which are widely expected to all but end both parties’ presidential primaries in favor of the presumptive nominees: Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

“Super Tuesday pretty much confirms whatever is going to happen, what we believe will happen, and we’ll see where we go from there,” said Manchin on January 23rd, the day of the New Hampshire primaries.

Several other third-party candidates are already running in the 2024 election, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Cornel West (both running as independents), and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 20: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV., speaks during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing to examine the American Jobs Plan, focusing on infrastructure, climate change, and investing in our nations future on April 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Members of President Biden's cabinet are testifying about the American Jobs Plan, the administration's $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan that has yet to win over a single Republican in Congress. (Photo by Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images)