Senator Joe Manchin says ‘we’ll see’ when asked if he will follow in Kyrsten Sinema’s footsteps by become an independent after the West Virginia lawmaker said he’s the ‘most independent Democrat you’ve ever met’

Joe Manchin was very non-committal at a No Labels event on Monday — both about the future of his party identification and whether he plans to run as a third party in 2024.

When asked if he would follow in the footsteps of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona by leaving the Democratic Party to become independent, Manchin said, “We’ll see what happens.”

“I’ve never let a party label define who I am,” he replied as he further elaborated on why he never thought about going independent after years of being labeled a “moderate Democrat.”

Speaking to a crowd in New Hampshire Monday night, Manchin was joined on stage by former Republican Utah governor Jon Huntsman amid rumors the two are running on a “unity ticket” in the 2024 presidential election.

But Monday’s appearance centered around kicking off the first in a series of town halls rolling out No Labels’ proposed Common Sense plan in support of the organization’s mission for centrism and bipartisanship.

Senator Joe Manchin said ‘good eye’ about switching party affiliations after saying, ‘I’m the most independent Democrat you’ve ever met’

Asked about his party affiliation, Manchin said, “I’m the most independent Democrat you’ve ever met.”

Although Manchin is a Democrat in the Senate, he has been criticized by members of his own party for downplaying some of their policies they tried to push through with a razor-thin majority.

“Dear friend, Jon has an R by his name, okay? I got a D from me. Maybe my grandfather, I don’t know,” Manchin told press when describing why he became a Democrat in the first place.

“But the bottom line is that we never saw the other side as the enemy,” he added. “We just looked at bringing different thoughts together to try and find solutions. And that’s why he and I worked together 12-13 years ago. We still believe that it is needed more today than when we started.’

Democrat Manchin and Republican Huntsman repeatedly dodged questions about the potential to run on the 2024 presidential ticket.

The two took to the stage at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester on Monday to unveil the No Labels platform called Common Sense.

When asked how a Democrat and Republican sharing the White House would “work out,” Manchin went after President Joe Biden by saying, “A lot better than what you have today.”

Any third-party candidate in the race is likely to increase the chances of a Republican victory in 2024 and hurt President Joe Biden’s re-election possibility.

Manchin dismissed concerns that his candidacy could serve as a “spoiler” for Biden that will help former President Donald Trump become president again.

Senator Joe Manchin said that if a Democrat and a Republican served together in the White House, it would work

Senator Joe Manchin said that if a Democrat and a Republican served together in the White House, it would work “a lot better” than Biden’s current White House. Democrat Manchin (left) appeared with Republican Jon Huntsman (right) Monday at a No Labels event in Manchester, New Hampshire

During a banter after the No Labels event, Manchins continued to question his party affiliation, saying

During a banter after the No Labels event, Manchins continued to question his party affiliation, saying “I’ve never let a party label define who I am”

“I haven’t been in any race I’ve ever screwed up, I’ve been in races to win. And if I get into the race, I’m going to win,” the West Virginia senator said when he was approached by the moderator about the potential of a “unity ticket.”

Huntsman assured he has “no idea” what Manchin will do regarding a presidential bid, having said in the past that he is weighing a point and will make a decision by the end of the year.

With less than seven months until the nation’s first primary, candidates are already flocking to Granite State — along with the first caucus state of Iowa and other early primary states of South Carolina and Nevada.

The keynote speakers for the first city hall were moderate Senator Manchin and former Utah governor Huntsman, who also served as the ambassador to China under Barack Obama and the ambassador to Russia under Donald Trump.

It was clear that the consensus in the room is that Manchin and Huntsman are likely to launch a presidential candidate together.

Other special guests on Monday included former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman; Pat McCrory, former Republican Governor of North Carolina; ex-Republican Rep. Fred Upon of Michigan; former Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham of South Carolina; Civil rights leader Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.; Adm. Dennis Blair, former US Director of National Intelligence under Obama.

McCrory said the plan is to field a presidential and vice presidential candidate on the 2024 ticket under No Labels. Hoping to have both a Democrat and a Republican on the ticket.

Lieberman and Chavis are national co-chairs of No Labels, along with former Republican Maryland governor Larry Hogan, who was not present at the rollout Monday.

Introducing the rollout of a 30-point platform called Common Sense, No Labels Co-Chair and Democratic Civil Rights leader Dr.  Benjamin F. Chavis Jr.  (right) that

Introducing the rollout of a 30-point platform called Common Sense, No Labels Co-Chair and Democratic Civil Rights leader Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. (right) that “Americans want more choices and more votes” leading up to 2024

“Americans want more choices and want more votes as we prepare [2024],” said Chavis, a Democrat. ‘We put democracy above party.’

A town hall attendee on Monday was very clear that they have no illusions about the chances of a third-party candidate winning the presidency in 2024. When asked if he supported the No Labels movement anyway, he told right?’

Another realist supporter of the movement who identified himself as Adam said he hopes to lay the groundwork for a future third-party candidate to win.

No Labels hopes to help prove that there are alternatives to the candidates produced by the two party system – and urges to focus on the ideas put forward by individuals rather than the party label placed on the candidate.

There are already 15 Republicans running in the 2024 primary and President Joe Biden even earned two longshot challengers with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Marianne Williamson.

The American political system has become increasingly reliant on polarizing labels of Democrat and Republican — with voters often lining up behind the candidate who aligns or leans on their party.

Gallup has been tracking the party membership trend since 2004 — and the latest of June shows that 44 percent of Americans consider themselves independent. Meanwhile, only 25 percent identify as Republican and 27 percent as Democrat.

In March 2023, a record 49 percent of Americans identified as independent.

Unveiled at the event was No Label’s Common Sense booklet, which is filled with approximately 60 pages of “30 Big Ideas to Address America’s Biggest Challenges.”

McCrory said during some opening remarks that No Labels’ goal is to “influence the agenda of politicians who come to New Hampshire and other states during the primary season.”

“If we can influence them with this Common Sense agenda, then we are already influencing this election and shifting the debate,” he said.

Much of the focus of the Republican presidential race right now is the shift toward “wokeness” in American society — particularly with regard to gender identity and transgender issues.

On “waking up and sex and stuff,” Manchin said, “I was brought up to believe that every American should have the chance to qualify for life.”

“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care who you love, I don’t care what you are,” the moderate Democrat added. ‘You have to get the chance for quality of life. That’s my job – making sure you have that access. We can treat each other – I mean, the love of America – the whole world is watching us.”