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Manchin said, “Everything is on the table” when asked about 2024

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVA) was not willing to commit to supporting Joe Biden’s re-election for a second term during his appearance on Meet the Press Sunday. He told host Chuck Todd that he will have to see “the lay of the land” before he decides to back Biden in 2024. He also would not commit to running for re-election as a Democrat for his Senate seat.

Manchin was not pleased with Biden’s remarks about how he has handled the classified documents found at his think tank and his home in Delaware. When asked by Todd about Biden claiming he had “no regrets”, Manchin replied, “Oh, I think he should have a lot of regrets.”

‘How has this happened?’ the conservative Democrat said on NBC News’ Meet The Press as questions rise about Biden’s handling of secret files.

He went on to describe his own experience viewing classified materials in secure facilities. He said he is always asked if he was ‘clean’ when he leaves the facility.

‘They want to make sure you’re not carrying anything out. You know, and it might be a mistake, you might just put it in your other papers, but you double check it right there,’ Manchin said.

‘So that- to be held accountable and responsible is what we all are. And to put those in unsecured spaces is irresponsible.’

My, my. When Democrats turn on Biden publicly on Sunday morning political shows, you know Biden is in trouble. A new ABC News/Ipsos poll shows that 64% of voters think Biden handled the files inappropriately. Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) called Biden a “serial classified document hoarder.” He’s not wrong, as far as we can tell. So far, it’s too early to tell whether the classified document scandal will have an effect on Biden’s re-election campaign. Biden thinks he has done nothing wrong and is almost indignant when someone in the press speaks up and asks him about it.

Manchin is clearly hoping to keep a distance from Biden’s re-election campaign, at least for now. He said it was a personal choice for Biden to make the decision to run again in 2024. ‘He’ll have to make that decision.’

Manchin embraces his role as a somewhat independent Democrat and he was no different in this interview. He’s all about saying the country has to unite. He said, ‘We need to come back together. We’re not coming together. And it needs to be somebody that can bring this country together.” But before Republicans get too excited about Manchin’s willingness to criticize Biden, don’t be fooled. He went on to praise Biden by saying he had “done a good job in so many factions.” And then he said, ‘I think there’s a lot more to be done.’

That’s what Manchin does. He likes to play independent and then at the last minute he goes back to the fold. He votes for Biden’s agenda more than 90% of the time. He plays this game to gain leverage in policy matters. Also, now there is a real possibility he will face stiff competition in his re-election race, if he decides to run again. The current governor is considering a run. He’s very popular and it would flip the seat to Republican. Manchin is 75-years-old.

The one option Manchin ruled out was another run for governor. He said no, he’s already done that. He didn’t rule out a run for president, though. He wanted to keep all his cards close to his chest.

Manchin said that Biden has been pulled too far to the left. He dodged the question of if he will run as a Democrat for re-election. ‘I haven’t made a decision what I’m going to do in 2024. I’ve got two years ahead of me now to do the best I can for the state and for my country.’ Even if he became an Independent as his colleague Senator Sinema did, he would also caucus with the Democrats, I think. I don’t see him going with Republicans at this point in his career.

It was an interesting interview because of his unwillingness to commit to anything. He said, “everything’s on the table.” I think he intends to keep it like that, at least for a while.

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