Manchin Throws Out Some VP Names

[Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

Another candidate might be getting ready to throw his hat in the ring for president, and Democrats will not like it. 

Although Democratic Senator Joe Manchin has yet to make an official announcement that he will be running as a third party candidate under the No Labels banner, the West Virginian appears to be putting a team together and devising a ticket that could appeal to a huge portion of the country. 

As part of his “listening tour” the senator took questions in Cleveland, Ohio, earlier in the week. Manchin stated that he is eyeing a unity ticket–one Democrat, one Republican. 

What he said raised some eyebrows, according to NBC News.

“Hypothetically, if I was picking my running mate, really who I would ask right now is Mitt Romney,” Manchin said, identifying the Republican senator from Utah.

Manchin also said he would consider former Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio, as a vice-presidential pick.

“Rob’s a dear friend of mine,” Manchin said. “What a good man.”

Manchin offered several pointed criticisms of President Joe Biden in the appearance at a City Club of Cleveland breakfast — part of his nationwide “listening tour” that followed his decision to not seek another Senate term. The tour, which included a stop last month in New Hampshire ahead of that state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, has fueled speculation that Manchin might mount an independent or third-party campaign for president. He’s been linked to the No Labels organization’s effort to field a bipartisan ticket.  

Both Republicans have either announced their retirement from the Senate, Mitt Romney, or left the Senate at the start of the term, Rob Portman. The two former GOP leaders would likely bring major fundraising chops to a third-party effort. 

After saying who he’d consider for vice president, Manchin returned to his Hamlet routine.

The Hill noted, “‘Guys, listen, I’m not running for anything. I’m basically running to try to get people involved. Okay? So we’ll get, we’ll make sure of that right now, that’s today,’ Manchin said.

Manchin expressed skepticism about the likelihood of a successful third-party campaign. He looked to Super Tuesday as the date for which ‘everyone’s waiting, to see what happens on Super Tuesday.’

‘The third party,’ Manchin said, ‘that’s a tough road. It’s never been done. Never been done. The system was set up not for that to be done.’

‘I think you’re going to have a Joe Biden and Donald Trump rematch if nothing changes,” he said. ‘Things could change, you know, you have Super Tuesday is going to be what, about a month away? And that’s a lifetime in politics. So a lot could be changed. We’ll see.'”

While a third party candidate has never won. This year could be different. Much of the country dislikes both Trump and Biden. 

A recent poll revealed that “67 percent of respondents polled Monday through Wednesday said they were ‘tired of seeing the same candidates in presidential elections and want someone new.’ Still, just 18 percent said they would not vote if Biden and Trump were their choice.

The two candidates themselves seem ready for a rematch following Trump’s back-to-back wins in Iowa and New Hampshire, with the White House regarding Trump as a beatable challenger, and Trump fuming because Haley did not immediately drop out of the Republican race.

Trump’s six-point lead held even when respondents were given the option of voting for third-party candidates, including anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr., with Trump drawing 36 percent support, Biden 30 percent and Kennedy 8 percent.

Slightly more than half of respondents said they were dissatisfied with the U.S. two-party system, with just one in four satisfied by it.”

[Read More: Trump Scores Huge Win As Georgia DA Appears To Have Lied To Court]

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