“You know, I don’t make those choices or those decisions about it. I’m going to work with everything I have,” Manchin said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” when asked about the Democrats’ midterm outlook.
“I think the Democrats have some great candidates running. They’re good people I’ve worked with,” he added. “And I have tremendous respect and friendship with my colleagues. republicans. So I can work on either side very easily.
When asked to clarify whether he cares about the outcome of the midterm elections, Manchin remained circumspect.
“Whatever the voters choose. I can’t decide what’s going to happen in Kansas, California or Texas. I really can’t,” he said. “I have always taken the following approach: whoever you send me is your representative and I respect him. And I respect the state for the people they send, and I do my best to work with them, to do my best for my country. I don’t do politics that way. I don’t like it like that. It’s not who I am.
On ABC News’ “This Week,” Manchin was also coy when host Jonathan Karl asked if he would commit to supporting Biden if he were the Democratic presidential nominee in 2024.
“Everyone is worried about the election. That’s the problem,” Manchin replied. “It’s a 2022 election, a 2024 election. I don’t get involved…”
“No, no, but that’s a simple question,” Karl interrupted. “Would you…”
“It’s not. I don’t get involved in that, Jon,” Manchin said. “I really don’t.”
In an equally divided Senate, key elements of Biden’s agenda have often passed or failed on Manchin’s bent. Last year, Manchin said he would not support federal suffrage legislation that his party said was essential to preserving democracy, and the West Virginia senator almost single-handedly put the brakes on to Biden’s Build Back Better plan, a $2 trillion social spending package.
Manchin’s equivocations about Biden and his own party came as he appeared on the top five Sunday political shows to promote his role in the success of one of the president’s initiatives. He made similar comments last week in response to questions from former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo on his podcast, “The Chris Cuomo Project.”
Manchin called Biden a “good person” but criticized him for his energy policy, saying he should have focused earlier on inflation as a major issue.
“I don’t know if Joe Biden is running again and if he’s the Democratic nominee, it depends on who the Republican nominee is,” Manchin said. says Cuomo. “Uh, you know, we just have to wait and see. I’m not predicting anything.”
On Wednesday evening, Manchin announced that he had brokered a surprise deal with Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) on the massive ‘Cutting Inflation Act’. on climate, health care and taxes. Although smaller than the Build Back Better plan, the new legislation still aims to achieve many of the same goals, including reducing the cost of prescription drugs, establishing a minimum corporate tax and spending approximately $433 billion for climate change and clean energy production.
“This type of legislation would only happen if the President of the United States was involved,” Manchin said on “This Week.” “And he gave – he gave his blessing and signed it. I can assure you of that. And I appreciate that more than anyone knows, because it was difficult.
Karl then asked if Manchin would rule out voting for a Republican for president. Manchin paused briefly.
“I’m not going into the 2024 election,” he said. After a few more back and forths, Manchin added, “It’s been a long ride. So I’m not going – I’m not going into 2022 or 2024. Whoever my president is, he’s my president. And Joe Biden is my president right now.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” Manchin was asked if he would support Biden in 2024.
“I am not involved in any elections at the moment: 2022, 2024, I am not speculating on [that]”, Manchin said. “President Biden is my president right now. I will work with him and his administration to the best of my ability.
John Wagner, Tony Romm and Christian Davenport contributed to this report.