Senator Joe Manchin from West Virginia has been accused by some of his Democratic colleagues of not toting the party line enough in the past, as he’s held up major pieces of legislation that President Joe Biden proposed, including the multi-trillion-dollar Build Back Better package.
And while some have suggested that Manchin is a Republican in disguise, the one thing he made clear this week is that he’s certainly not MAGA.
On Wednesday – only a few days after he announced he would not be running for re-election to the Senate – Manchin said that if Trump were given another term in the White House, “he will destroy democracy in America.”
Voters from West Virginia heavily backed Trump in the presidential elections in both 2016 and 2020, but that didn’t stop Manchin from making his opinions known about the former president.
Manchin made those comments while talking with members of the media on a call, as speculation runs rampant that Manchin may be considering running for president himself as a third-party candidate.
During the call, though, Manchin said he wouldn’t ever want to play “spoiler,” in essence contributing to another candidate having an easier time being elected. At the same time, he said that he’d do anything to save the country.
As Manchin commented:
“If they said, ‘You’re the only person to do it,’ I’ll do whatever I can to save this nation.”
Manchin would likely find no success in the upcoming presidential election as a third-party candidate. That being said, he believes that the two major political parties in the country have grown into something they should not be. He said:
“These parties have taken over to where they weaponized us against each other. And that’s wrong.”
Despite having a disdain for the current two-party system in the U.S., Manchin focused his heaviest criticism on Trump himself. The moderate Democratic senator really finds himself alone in his home state with those opinions, though, as West Virginia is considered one of the most loyal states to Trump.
Even still, Manchin said it’d be “dangerous” to elect Trump back to the White House. He said:
“You can’t have this visceral hatred spewing out of every time you give a speech, denigrating Americans. And the only good American is the one that likes you and supports you; the only fair election is the one you win; the only laws pertain to everybody but you.”
Manchin apparently doesn’t like extremism in any form, though, and he believes that President Joe Biden has moved himself way too far left during his time in the White House.
Trump hasn’t been shy about hurling criticisms Manchin’s way, either. In fact, after the senator announced that he wouldn’t be running for re-election, Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social, that he was the reason the senator is stepping aside. Trump endorsed West Virginia Republican Governor Jim Justice for the spot on the Senate, a man who would’ve been one of Manchin’s biggest challengers in the race.
As Trump wrote:
“Because I Endorsed Big Jim Justice of West Virginia for the U.S. Senate, and he has taken a commanding lead, Democrat Joe Manchin has decided not to seek re-election. Looking good for Big Jim!”