Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III refused to say Sunday if he would support President Biden for reelection in 2024 in the wake of several polls that show the overwhelming majority of Americans do not want the Democrat to run again.
The centrist West Virginia lawmaker, who has emerged as a major power broker in an evenly divided Senate, would only say that he was not focused on elections in 2022 or 2024. Mr. Biden, already the oldest man ever elected president, would be 82 at the start of a second four-year term in 2025.
“I’m not getting into 2022 or 2024,” he told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” “Whoever is my president, that’s my president. And Joe Biden is my president right now.”
In a separate interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Mr. Manchin also demurred on whether he wanted his own political party to retain control of Congress.
“I’m not making those choices or decisions on that. I’m going to work with whatever I have. I’ve always said that,” he said. “I think the Democrats have great candidates that are running. They’re good people I’ve worked with. And I have a tremendous amount of respect and friendship with my Republican colleagues. So, I can work on either side very easily.”
Mr. Manchin made the rounds on Sunday talk shows to defend a tax and spending bill focused on climate change, energy and health care that Democrats hope to pass along party lines in the Senate as soon as this week. His decision to end a holdout and embrace a modified bill could give Mr. Biden a badly needed legislative win in the coming day.
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