Joe Manchin Defends Potential Third-Party Presidential Campaign, Rejects Spoiler Label

No Labels Forum: Joe Manchin Considers Third-Party Presidential Campaign

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has defended his interest in a potential third-party presidential campaign, assuring voters that he has no intention of being a “spoiler” in the 2024 election. Speaking at a No Labels forum at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, Manchin emphasized his desire to win if he were to enter the race. Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, a Republican, joined Manchin in criticizing the growing polarization in Washington, D.C. Both men stressed the importance of offering the American people an alternative to the two major parties.

Regarding his future plans, Manchin remained noncommittal and evasive. He is up for re-election to the Senate in 2024 but did not confirm whether he planned to run. When asked about the possibility of running on a No Labels ticket for the White House, Manchin dismissed the idea as premature and maintained that the group’s main objective was to provide an alternative option for voters. Similarly, Huntsman dismissed any speculation about a Manchin-Huntsman ticket as premature and a distraction.

Before the event, the No Labels organization’s founding chairman, Joe Lieberman, and co-chairs Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. and former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, highlighted the group’s “Common Sense” policy manifesto. They warned that a potential rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump could prompt No Labels to launch its own candidate. McCrory described the organization’s efforts to secure a place on presidential ballot lines in various states as an “insurance policy” against that possibility. He also cautioned against attempts to prevent No Labels from appearing on the ballot, vowing they would not succeed.

Amidst the growing discussion of third-party campaigns, New Hampshire Democratic Party chair Ray Buckley denounced No Labels, accusing it of being a front for right-wing interests. Buckley insisted that its efforts would not deceive the people of New Hampshire and declared that the state would once again vote Democratic in 2024. In response, a new bipartisan super PAC called “Citizens to Save Our Republic” emerged, pledging to oppose any third-party campaign. The organization referred to a recent poll that suggested a No Labels candidate could swing the election from Biden to Trump.

No Labels, a movement promoting bipartisanship in Washington, has entered the 2024 election cycle with ambitious plans. The group aims to raise $70 million for a potential candidate and has already secured access to the ballot in several states. It proposes a “Common Sense” policy book, which seeks middle ground on contentious issues such as abortion rights, guns, and immigration. While third-party efforts have generally struggled in recent history, the deep dissatisfaction with both Trump and Biden has renewed interest in alternative options. Democrats, in particular, are wary of potential spoilers, mindful of previous instances where independent candidates impacted the outcome of elections.

In conclusion, Joe Manchin’s flirtation with a third-party presidential campaign at the No Labels forum has generated significant attention. As the 2024 election approaches, the possibility of a viable alternative candidate is gaining momentum. No Labels’ commitment to bipartisanship and its ambitious plans have sparked both support and skepticism. The organization aims to put forward a united front against the divisive landscape in Washington, D.C., but the road to success is uncertain. As the situation develops, the American people await further clarity on Manchin’s intentions and the potential impact of a third-party run.