Senator Joe Manchin confirmed that he is seriously thinking about taking his leave of the Democratic Party, according to The Daily Caller. The West Virginian politician confirmed the rumor while speaking to radio host Hoppy Kercheva. He said that party politics have become “so bad” that he needs to think about keeping his voice independent of it.
Manchin, who helped pass the $700 billion Inflation Reduction Act, has been at odds with his party on several issues. He reiterated to Kercheva that he is not a “Washington Democrat.” He went on to say that he does not want to feel held back by his party when it comes to speaking his mind.
“When I do speak, I want to be able to speak honestly about basically the extremes of the Democrat and Republican Party that’s harming our nation,” Manchin said.
If Manchin becomes an Independent, he will join Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who also left the Democratic Party, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the self-proclaimed democratic-socialist. Both of the reportedly caucus with the Democrats.
Manchin’s remarks come as rumors have it that he is eyeing a potential 2024 presidential run. He is currently backed by the No Labels political groups, which presents a centrist alternative to the Democrats and Republicans. While it is not yet clear if he will run as a third-party option, he raised $1.3 million during the second quarter of 2023. He also headlined a No Labels event in New Hampshire.
Upon leaving the Democratic Party, Arizona Democrats tore into Sinema, claiming that she “answers to corporations and billionaires.” The party’s retaliation against the senator came as she supported the filibuster and opposed President Biden’s expensive Build Back Better agenda. She said that becoming an Independent allows her to think about what her constituents want, and not what is a Democrat versus a Republican idea.