Manchin says remarks on not running for president were made ‘in jest’
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Sunday said his earlier remarks that he wasn’t running for president were made “in jest.”
“I’m not running for president of the United States. I can assure you of that as we sit here today,” Manchin said last week in a radio interview with MetroNews, but he backtracked in a new interview on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“You have been in public service for 40 years. You told a radio interview this week that you will not be running for president. What are your plans? Will you run for reelection?” host Maria Bartiromo asked on Sunday.
“Well, the bottom line is, that was in jest. We were talking back and forth, a dear friend of mine, Hoppy Kercheval. We talked. And he said, this minute, this time, this and this,” Manchin replied, referring to the earlier interview.
“And I said, Hoppy, listen, my main concern — and to all of you and all of your viewers, my main concern is, how do we bring this country together? How do we make it work? How do we make Democrats, Republicans become Americans again, and not just party affiliates? And we’re pushing people further apart, making people take a side, and then we’re rewarding for bad behavior.”
Pressed on Sunday whether the centrist still identifies as a Democrat, Manchin said he’ll “be involved any way I can to help” and that he identifies “as an American.”
Manchin is up for reelection to his Senate seat next year, he said last week. He has in the past declined to rule out a run for the White House, and hasn’t said whether he’ll run for another Senate term.
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