Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, who cut the White House out of negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on a $739 billion spending plan, refused Thursday to say whether he’d endorse President Biden for a second term in 2024.
“I don’t know who is going to be running. If Joe Biden runs again and he is the Democratic nominee, depending on who the Republican nominee is, we will just have to wait and see,” Manchin told Chris Cuomo in an interview that aired on NewsNation.
“I am not predicting anything, or how I would support or not support, or get involved or not,” the West Virginian added. “But I can tell you this, whoever the elected president is – Democrat, Republican, independent – every one of us should pray they succeed. I am going to do everything I can to make that person successful.”
Cuomo pressed Manchin on why a Democratic senator would not back a sitting president from his own party for re-election.
“Well, I don’t know what to tell you on that,” the senator answered. “I’m always for the right person when they’re running.”
Manchin added that he doesn’t believe voters in the Mountain State, who overwhelmingly backed Donald Trump in the 2020 election and have voted Republican in every presidential race since 2000, would support a national Democratic figure now.
“I believe that basically, the people will make a decision state by state,” he said.
Manchin and Schumer announced a breakthrough Wednesday evening on a package that includes proposals related to health care, deficit reduction, lowering prescription drug costs and increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals.
Earlier Thursday, Manchin told WV MetroNews that Biden was not included in the negotiations between the two senators, saying he worried that talks “could have absolutely gone sideways” had the White House got involved.
He also said that he was “ostracized” and “victimized” by the administration after he came out against the multi-trillion Build Back Better Act in December of last year over his concerns that the new spending would worsen inflation.
Manchin’s sentiment about endorsing Biden’s reelection tracks with recent polls, including a CNN survey released Tuesday that showed 75% of Democrats want somebody else to run for president in 2024.
A survey by the University of New Hampshire published Tuesday shows 74% of Democrats in the Granite State don’t want Biden to run again, while Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg edged out the incumbent in a hypothetical primary contest.
In Massachusetts, just 62% of Democrats approve of Biden, down from 75% in April, according to a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll released the same day.